In my training job we do a brainstorming exercise where we demonstrate how the two sides (hemispheres) of our brain work together and sometimes oppose each other.  Given a sheet that has blank circles on it we ask the students to write as many separate things that are round as they can think of putting only one thing in each circle.

Inevitably what happens, in most people, is the right side of the brain which is the creative side kicks in and they start writing.  Depending on a person’s temperament  though, sometimes quickly the left side of the brain which is the analytical side kicks in and they stop writing.  The students start to think.  If I wrote down ball does that mean I can’t write basketball or soccer ball.  I might right earth but you know that has a bulge in the middle so maybe that doesn’t count as round.  So the left side analytical side has its place but it can also get in the way of free thinking idea generation.

Where am I going with this and why would anyone care?  It seems as if our faith can fall under the same sort of conflict.  We may be in a situation where we feel what is being asked of us is too much or too grand.  We may feel that the situation is so dire that it (or at least we) can’t resolve it.  Maybe we feel we are in a boat about to sink, we’re being asked to walk on water, or 5,000 people need to be fed. 

Then it may be that reach out with our “right” (and here I’m talking direction not correct or incorrect) side faith.  So we ask Our Heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus Christ to intervene for us.  That prayer has barely left our lips when the left side will sometimes kick in stifling our request with the thoughts of why it can’t happen; that we’re asking for too much, or those things don’t happen to people like us.  We analyze our chances of success  before even giving Our Heavenly Father the benefit of the thought He has the power to do it.  Not that all “right” side faith asking is appropriate either.  We treat Our Heavenly Father more like a genie fulfilling wishes instead of really thinking through our prayers.  We should stop and consider:  “Why are we asking for this?”  “Whose Glory are we seeking?”  “Will this help me in my faith journey or is about the quick out in the here and now?”

In my own life the starkest contrast in right side faith and left side faith is how I look at the direction of my life.  With left side analytical faith I can look back on my life and see the wonderful blessings that I have received time and time again from Our Lord and Savior.  The issue I have either turning that left side analytical faith or releasing the right side free thinking faith as it applies to the future and be equally as certain for the wonderful blessings that Jesus Christ has promised to those who faithfully believe and confess Him the Son of God.

So don’t allow your analytical faith to rob you of the undreamed of potential that comes with a personal relationship with Christ.  Yet use your analytical faith to ponder and understand the meaning of scripture and to use that as we strive for that increased relationship.  Both are gifts and fruits of the Spirit.  Amen