Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gap Filler: A Paradox

Until a couple of days ago, I had never heard of Dr. Niels Bohr. I came across a quote of his that he made years ago. For those who are interested, he is a Danish physicist who won the Nobel Prize for physics almost 90 years ago, in 1922. He also helped to create the first atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. Dr. Bohr has a lot of interesting quotes, none of which I can understand (maybe because they're in Danish), but the one translated quote from him that caught my attention was: "The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. "


People who win Nobel Prizes for physics talk like that a lot. Sometimes they don't seem to make sense.

Once I looked at that quote a little more deeply, it was apparent that this quote was really a paradox, which is a statement with an intrinsic conflict - two ideas, each that are true when standing alone, but seem to contradict each other when lined up together in the same sentence or phrase.

And no, a paradox does not consist of two physicians or two places where boats can park.

By the way, that atomic bomb that Dr. Bohr helped to create was a paradox in itself. It was created to prevent more lives from being lost. It's believed that millions of Japanese would have died as a result of a ground assault instead of the thousands that perished in the atomic blasts that ended World War II.

Another great example of a paradox was when Jesus said, "To save your life you must lose it." The words themselves do not make much sense until you think about it a little bit more deeply and in a larger scope. Because a phrase like this is often contrary to what common sense would indicate, you need to use common sense to comprehend it.

Confused? Welcome to the club.

Here are some more quotes that really apply to me:

"Real security come from being comfortable with insecurity. "

"Less stressful living will require stressful changes."

"The more you try to control, the more likely you'll be controlled."

"It takes more effort to be happy than it does to be unhappy. "

"It'll take more pain now for my normal pain to go away. " That's my quote, by the way.

In Proverbs, it says: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death."

As a believer for 24 years, I've been doing that which seems right to a man: Serve God, work hard, take care of family, live a clean life, behave yourself, and all the other wonderful things that others would consider selfless. I never took the time to take care of my own self because I always considered it selfish to make time for me. Put yourself last, I always heard. Make sure there's a roof over everyone's head and food on the table first. I was sold a bill of goods that the world lives by. Sometimes, you have to do what's good for you first, before you can do what's right for everyone else.

There is a reason why flight attendants instruct you to put your mask on first in the event of sudden cabin pressure loss, before you put a mask on your child.

I sacrificed the vital for the urgent.

At this point in my life, I could work a couple of more hours each day, but what I earn will just get spent (quickly, I might add), or I could invest the couple of hours on my health, which will open up the possibility for a better opportunity down the road (if physical health is a requirement for a better job). I could give up some time with the family for an hour or two in order to be able to have the energy level to spend quality time with them later on, whereas now I could play slug in front of the television watching the shows that no one else wants to watch.

The answer is pretty simple for me...and it's not even a paradox.

For me to save my life, I must lose it. As a believer in Christ, I have to consistently desire Him more than anything or anyone else in my own life. Only then can I see His blessing. Right now, the greatest honor I can give Him right now is to offer myself daily in this effort to achieve victory in this battle that I'm in. I believe He will bless my effort.

And who knows? Perhaps 90 years from now, someone will quote me and get inspired...

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