Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paralysis of Analysis... a lack of Faith?

Reading Mr. David's book again tonight and it brought up a topic that I think can be very evident to a lot of us...

{Paralysis of Analysis} The term "analysis paralysis" or "paralysis of analysis" refers to over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or "perfect" solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution. (Thank you Wikipedia for the definition...)

I had heard this term, but never really thought about it... but I can think of times in my life that I have put myself in this position... that my over analyzing has been detrimental to me and my development socially and spiritually. Biblically, I believe that one of the most obvious examples of Paralysis of Analysis is that of John 6, in which Jesus feeds the 5,000.

John 6: 1-14

1Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee
2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.
3Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.
4The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?"

6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages[
a] would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up,

9"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
10Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.

11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted."

13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world."

I think that a lot of times we are like Philip (verse 5) and Andrew (verse 9), we only consider what is right in front of us... and not what the possibilities are. The more I think of that I consider how I often put God in a nicely wrapped box, because I don't consider that there are other options for me than those I have already thought, planned out, etc... I am convicted that this Paralysis of Analysis is in some ways a great lack of Faith. Because just as Jesus fed the 5,000 with such a small amount of food, He can make opportunities in our life grow exponentially as well. Why would I want to put God in a box when His vision and thoughts span an undefinable space. He has no limits... so why do I try to limit Him?? I can't.... but why in small little human brain do I try to? This is something I need to work on... I have always struggled with "giving things over to God"... because if I pray the the same prayer daily, am I truly giving it up?? Is that praying with Faith when I daily remind God what my needs and desires are? (Seriously... input on this particular subject would be appreciated)

Ultimately, I think it is most important that we recognize that our focus on the outcome of these analysis should be similar to that of verse 14. I believe that what God does in our lives can be our own personal "miraculous sign" of His work in our lives... and that we should never ever hesitate to give him the credit for the results, so that others might be able to see Him in our lives simply through observation.

Love Yall,

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