Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Redemptive Rationalization


Have you ever worked hard toward a goal, only to discover that it wasn't worth the work? How did you feel then? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Editon, page 1020).

I once had a professor (Donald C. Menzel) who said rationalization is important and necessary in the human enterprise.  It plays a big role in transactions and additionally in the way we come to view things.  Right off the bat I could appreciate the truth of this.  Have I every splurged on any purchase without some degree of rationalization?  And, of course, when I look back on pathways where I have somewhat dubiously invested irreplaceable time and resources, it becomes essential to rationalize to some degree.  This is so because it is essential to human survival and health to avoid bitterness and despair.

A key driver for me in this regard is to appreciate the limited nature of my understanding.  Therefore it is important to withhold final judgment about all matters that are not obviously hurtful to myself or others.  From this point of view, virtually no investment of time and energy no matter how unsuccessful can ever be considered useless and a waste of time.

An obvious example for me is that I have spent countless resources acquiring four college degrees—three of them masters—in addition to extensive courses at community colleges.  Today I earn my living as an application support specialist—working with computers.  A huge chunk of my education has nothing directly to do with computer work.  However, call it rationalization or not, I consider an essential aspect of my job that of functional pastor—someone who serves others and never forgets the human element—that all without exception carry burdens.  From this point of view every course I've ever taken can relate to this in some way—even if the course was a grind.  For, indeed, someone caught in a grind can be assured that I am not totally unfamiliar with such a situation and can therefore express some credible sympathy and understanding even of their unique predicament or condition.  In my book no experience should be considered a waste as lessons can be learned and identities of experience shared.  Through rationalization redemption lives even for nonbelievers.

Print Page