Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Counterintuitive is one of my favorite words.

coun·ter·in·tu·i·tive (koun'tər-ĭn-tōō'ĭ-tĭv, -tyōō'-) Pronunciation Key
adj. Contrary to what intuition or common sense would indicate.

Not only do I like the way it rolls off your tounge, I also just plain like the concept...that there is an expected way that you would think about things, but the reality is altogether different. There is a hidden-ness to truth sometimes.

Jesus was hands down, the most counterintuitive person who ever lived...a surprising person who constantly turned people's intuitions upside down. I can think of several verses, memorized when I was a kid so forgive the King James, that recall this mysteriousness to mind...

"There is a way that seems right to a person, but the end is the way of death."
"Narrow is the way, and few that find it."
"Whoever seeks his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it..."

I've been living in my own intuition lately. Handling situations according to quick processes..."Deal with now" or "Stuff it away for later." This is a normal way of handling life, I suppose, but eventually that closet full of "Deal with later" junk comes piling down on you.

It was piling down on me...for a couple of weeks now, I have been sinking lower and lower...nothing was enjoyable, nothing had any flavor, I just wanted to go to bed...the all too familiar feelings of depression wrapping around my ankles and keeping me from any movement at all. I felt dead...except for anger. I felt plenty of anger...for the silliest reasons.

And so I dwelt on it. What is wrong with me? Why do I feel this way? I should be happy...things are good. I must be crazy. Maybe I should go on medication? Why can't I feel anything???

Usually, in thinking things over, I can come up with whatever it is that is dragging me down...ah...but here is the counterintuitive part...I needed to step away and stop dwelling...Stop trying to put the pieces together.

So I read a book by the pool yesterday. I never do that. I know, I should, but I don't. The kids splashed and I delved into The Tipping Point....mostly as a favor to hubby. it is a good read, and unexpectedly pulled me away from my mental and emotional jigsaw puzzle.

Several hours later, I dragged myself through chores, only to have a flash of insight. I finally put the pieces together...why I am so depressed and angry. Robb called at about that time and I just poured it out to him. The more I talked, the more I could feel myself defrosting...finding emotions frozen below the surface. I cried...I can't remember when I've cried in months...

Of course, these things are still painful to me, but at least they are not stuffed away. They are out in the light of day where they appear much more manageable than they were, crammed in my "deal with later closet."

The next step is also counterintuitive. In our American culture, you don't talk with somebody you are upset gossip about it, blog about it, vent about it, but you don't really deal with it, because it seems quicker and easier to gripe about it with enough people that it loses its sting. But the Bible says we are supposed to go to people and try to work it out. Ridiculously counterintuitive. We tell ourselves, "talking will only make it worse" or "It won't change anything." It might not. But at least we have done what lies with us to make things better. We've exercised the full extent of our abilities to set things right. We've done our best. And while it seems like an inefficient waste of time and emotion, it could be the very best route across an emotional canyon we can't see the bottom of.


Heidi said...

I don't usually comment on good posts, but its also a bummer when I put myself out there and I don't hear, thanks for the reminder and i hope you have a profitable conversation.

ness said...

Heidi..that was really good of you. It means a lot to me.

This week has been dominated by this idea and it even popped up in Robb's sermon prep before I wrote this. We didn't even talk about it...weird.

Heidi said...


Josh says he liked the post too.

Anonymous said...

Girl, I feel you!

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