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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Feeling Pinkie Keen”
As I mentioned back when I reviewed this episode, this one was one of the more surprising ones to me in the entire franchise because it dealt with something a kid’s show would rarely touch on, and did it in a way without being “preachy” or smacking you over the head with it: faith.
Who would have thought a secular show made to sell toys would actually come out in favor of faith?
One of the big debates Christians have in regards to more “secular matters” is whether or not Creationism should be taught in science class. While I think it’s important not to discount matters of faith, and those should be taught in some capacity, I’m going to honestly say…no, it shouldn’t be. Or put it this way… It makes about the same amount of sense to teach Creationism in science class as in math class. Science class is about teaching the scientific method which is based on observation and experimentation. You can’t “observe” (at least not in the traditional sense) or “experiment” with faith in God’s Creation (again, at least not in the traditional sense). But I don’t want anyone to make the leap from that logic that I discount all matters of faith. Oh no…faith is something everyone has, including people who might not want to admit it.
Like it or not, everyone is going to go on faith at some point. Even atheists. When you pick an investment portfolio/brokerage firm for your 401k or savings, you are putting your faith in a company or set of stock/bond purchases. When you wave goodbye to your “little boy” or “little girl” when they go to college, you have faith that they’ll be responsible and take care of themselves there rather than do anything irresponsible. Statistically you’re more likely to get killed going for a car drive than walking past a person waving a gun in your face, yet you have faith in a certain measure of responsibility in other drivers or your own driving skill.
Almost everyone has an amount of “political faith”. After all, whether you’re a liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, or whatever…the evidence shows your system of government failed and failed hard at some point in the past. But most people have faith that sticking with their system will eventually work. That the problems were largely due to outside factors or other political parties “tampering”. Likewise, if you go to work every day, relax every night, raise a family, and make long-term plans toward house-buying or shifting careers, odds are you have faith in the economy and your government. If you stockpile food and propane and change your investments from bonds and stocks to commodities like gold, you probably have little faith in the economy or the government.
Even something as simple as putting a car in a garage, locking a window, investing or not investing in a security system, waiting a bit longer on an oil change, ignoring a squeak on a roof, or servicing a lawnmower implies some faith on your part. Now, a cynic would argue that most of these are based off of experiences and observations; having dealt with the same situation before and coming up with an educated guess. True, but there are two things wrong with that. One…past success is no guarantee of future success and we make judgment based on consequence of whether or not more successes than failures or vice versa is worth heeding. Look at chains like Woolworth’s and Blockbuster Video that went under. Or consider whether or not you’d like to get on a plane flown by a pilot who only crashes 1 out of every 100 flights. (Come on, that’s 99% success!) Two…people who rely on things that are more “faith-based” such as prayer or healing will often say the very reason they do it is observation and experience of how it worked both for them and for others.
Like it or not, some intrinsic faith in other people is necessary simply to function in human society. Not everything can be definitively proven or, even if it can, is something we are willing to invest the effort into proving. In the end, life is very much about what we are willing to accept as “good enough” proof and go on that.
In Twilight Sparkle’s case, one might argue after suffering so much misfortune it simply made sense to go ahead and believe in “Pinkie Sense”. But no matter how many times it worked out, she wasn’t willing to see that it wasn’t a coincidence. It conflicted too much with her ideas and belief in what could be proven. If it didn’t have a rational explanation for it or basis in “real” phenomena , it couldn’t be “real” no matter what the evidence indicated. This, in turn, illustrates the second, and more major, point about faith.
We all have faith in one thing or another. The question is what we end up believing in. And the fact of the matter is what we’ll end up believing in is likely what we’re predisposed to believe. It may sound corny, but it’s true…seeing isn’t believing; believing is seeing.
If someone is tailgating someone for miles and the individual in front of them is forced to slam on the brakes and ends up getting rear-ended, it’s likely the tailgater, who got front-ended, will be mad at the driver in front of them for “driving too slow for so long”. Doesn’t matter that they could have pulled back…they believe it was their fault for going slow for so long and then slaming on the brakes. If I supported the economic ideas of one candidate who came into office, the economy stays stagnant all the years they’re in office, and then when they get out and a candidate with different ideas ends up with a prosperous economy, I’m likely to believe that the ideas of the first candidate “kicked in” at that point rather than the merit of the new individual. If I am prone to racial bias and I see two people of opposing “colors” get involved in a shooting where someone dies, if it’s the race I’m “against” that did the killing I’m likely to go on about how “those people are out of control” in a rant, where if it’s the race I’m “against” that gets killed I’ll probably say something like “well, he/she shouldn’t have been doing those things to begin with”.
And I can have someone sit down and read the entire volume of “Jesus Freaks” or other books about miracles to me…but the odds are if I do not want to believe in God or Jesus in the end I’ll say it was a ton of coincidences, whereas if I’m a Christian I’ll cap each story praising God.
I’ve had atheists say something to the effect before to me that if God was real, he would appear right before them and order them to become a Christian. I honestly don’t believe even if that happened it would make a difference. The Bible is filled with too many examples of the opposite being true. The ancient Israelites who fled Egypt saw all of God’s plagues against their oppressors and how God gave them a fire at night and a cloud by day to lead them, brought forth water from rocks, and fed them with bread from Heaven. Yet they still rebelled frequently and constantly voted to return to Egypt rather than continue to the Promised Land. When Israel was settled, God frequently raised judges and prophets to deliver Israel from its oppressors, and yet as soon as the danger was passed they always resumed worshiping whatever god in the area was “en vogue”. Even the disciples of Jesus who saw everything He did immediately fell away when Jesus was taken off to be crucified, even though He warned them specifically that this would happen.
Well did Jesus speak in Luke:16:30-31 one of his more sobering lines, in regards to the rich man in Hell talking to Abraham about sending Lazarus to warn his brothers to escape his fate: “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’“But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'” I don’t think Jesus was talking about the Pharisees and Saducees alone in this passage, but to everyone.
When it comes to faith, there are two things that are important to remember. One is that we will always put our faith in something, and claiming we don’t have any faith is simply deluding ourselves so we don’t recognize when we have put our faith in something. Two is that our faith will “find evidence” to sustain itself, not the other way around. So when it comes to any of my pre-judgments on anything or my choose to believe or deny something, the “evidence” will always be there. In terms of Christianity, it’s in the stories of people whose lives have changed, who have turned from being what society would consider the “scum of the Earth” into new creations, and in examples of the power of prayer and divine healing and intervention and inspiration far beyond worldly means. Testimonies of people who were able to do the impossible and saw the unbelievable. The proof is in front of you. The question now is if you choose to believe it.
And if not…how many “moving truck loads falling on your head” would it take?
Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you that the proof of your Message, your plan for Salvation, and the Word of God in the Bible is there for anyone who seeks to find it. Whenever I am looking at your Word or anything else in life, help me always to recognize how my own beliefs and preconceptions are ‘twisting’ it one way or another, and help me always to see things with pure and unbiased motives so I can always make the best decision. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”