As I indicated earlier, study is a form of worship for me. Also, it just so happens that worship is something I study. Is that circular in some way? Is it like hooking up a transmitter from your mouth to your brain so you can tell your brain what to think? (I vaguely recall this as a surgical procedure once performed by Buckaroo Bonzai.) I suggest it is a peculiar thing when you start studying your own worship, your own faith.
We’ve all probably heard the Dissected Frog Analogy. In order to understand how a frog works someone cut it open once and looked inside. Sure, they kind of figured out what was going on inside, but then they were left with a dead frog. Ergo, when you study your own faith you kill it, incidentally making a big mess someone has to clean up afterwards. I’ve heard it used for flowers too, except it’s a less vivid object lesson, not gory enough to impress the mind I guess. I always wondered why this guy in the frog analogy couldn’t just anesthetize the frog, give it a small IV, do some exploratory surgery, sew it back up, and … voila! Frog’s a bit groggy, sore, maybe it will have an infection, but it’s still alive, and, you got to rummage around inside its innards and write your science report. I have always suspected what really killed the frog was … malpractice.
But is this analogy even on target? How about this … the Plastic Radio Analogy. Say some 9 year old kid takes apart a plastic radio, messes around with the inside parts, screws it back together again (even though s/he can’t remember where some parts where supposed to go) and voila! The radio still plays music even though numerous important looking pieces remain scattered across the carpet.
The Plastic Radio Analogy best describes my study of my own faith. I’ve pried open my faith on numerous occasions, did some surgery (not merely exploratory), leaving many pieces on the floor, screwed it back together again, and, miraculously, the radio still plays afterwards. Maybe some of those pieces weren’t necessary after all? Of course I probably voided the warranty. I actually did this once with my sister’s radio, so I know it can be done. I don’t necessarily recommend doing this, or at least telling your sister that you did it.
A final alternative analogy: the Seat Belt Retractor Analogy. One day you discover that your seat belt retractor doesn’t work. You take it to the service department. They say it will take 3 hours to fix it. They come back to you 4 hours later and say it can’t be fixed, but they can order a brand new retractor. That’ll be $350, plus labor–the part will arrive in 3-4 weeks. No thanks, you say, and you drive home, loosely belted in, going 20 mph under the speed limit. When you get home, out of curiosity you unscrew the seat belt retractor yourself, notice a piece of plastic had become unhinged and stuck in the belt. You pull out the offending piece of plastic, and … voila! The seat belt retractor unit now works! Then you curse at the service department jerks who never even opened it up to look at it, using biblical and, perhaps, some non-biblical, profanity. This happened with my first Honda Accord, so I know it can be done. Not sure how this is entirely relevant either, but maybe.
Any other analogies?