Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Actually, I was *going* to segue from my accounting / biblical interpretation post into finally explaining the change of my blog name!

Hm.. let's go back in time to May 29, 2002:

What *is* it about balance that we strive to achieve it? We (should?) strive to balance our diet, balance our time, balance our life. (Not to mention balance our chequebook; how fitting that I'm an accountant. =P)

OR, is it worth striving for at all? Does balance lead to mediocrity across the board and lack of excellence in any particular area?

I always thought it interesting that "balance" is such an oft-used word (or, maybe, just by me =p) mainly because we know that extremes are dangerous. I think the word merely expresses the recognition that we cannot *be* on any extreme -- the ideal position is *somewhere* in between extremes. [I'm not talking about black/white or right/wrong issues here...] So, the accounting illustration is another simple illustration of the pull between the two extremes...

Last term in Biblical Interpretation, the prof was developing a model for interpretation that recognizes the meanings that are inherent in the text (including the historicity of the text, original audience, etc. but also relating to the textual characteristics such as narratives, poetry, etc.) but the significance that we read as a reader. Therefore, the person sitting beside me could take away different things out of the text... of course, on the extreme, one can argue that the Bible could then have an infinite different definitions. Of course, that does not make sense (especially if we were to go into the realm of heresy), so that's where the role of the Holy Spirit comes into play.

As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit that has changed us such that we strive to be:
- God-fearing [one who correctly handles the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15)],
- Bible-believing [believe that the Bible is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16)], and
- faith-seeking-understanding [we do not believe in Christ because we gain a full understanding, rather, growth in our faith increases our understanding (Acts 17:11)] followers of Christ...

Therefore, as we truly seek to understand God's word, the Holy Spirit keeps us from going to extremes between being totally subjective and totally historical. You may call it a healthy tension, and this healthy tension is good because it keeps us from going to either extreme.

So, with this general, overall model, I draw parallels to all aspects of life, where we are faced with many opposing tensions that pull us on either side. So, with all tensions, we can be pulled more to one side at one moment, but then get pulled to the other... is that necessarily healthy? Recognizing that the tension is a dynamic one, we did see the challenge as finding a certain point of sustainability between the two -- that, to me, is a more precise articulation of what I was seeking to say back in 2002. So, for example, in terms of my sleeping patterns, what is my sustainable point? I can survive on five hours all week but then will "crash" on the weekend... that's not necessarily a sustainable point. =p I actually think I need 7 hours but haven't been able to figure how to implement that one yet. =p

Anyway, so, there's no *real* change in the name of my blog, just a more precise articulation of the dynamics of the process throughout life =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

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