Saturday, June 12, 2010

Food for Thought

If I were to tell you about bananas, assuming you have never tasted, touched, saw or smelled one, I may say the following:

Bananas are a type of fruit.  They are yellow and long with a smooth peel on the outside and an edible soft, mushy content on the inside. Bananas taste sweet and they smell like, well, bananas! I may go on to tell you about the history of bananas, where they’re grown, the nutrients they contain, the physical composition of a banana and so on.

However, if I told you where to get a banana for yourself and you took the action to go get one (i.e., work to make money to drive to the store to buy a banana) and then you held, examined, peeled, tasted, and smelled the banana, you would know more about the full nature of bananas than by what I could ever describe to you using words alone. In other words, personal experience far supersedes knowledge alone.

I think this is true with anything in life.  For example, I sat in meetings week after week and year after year and listened to others describe their experience with the 12 Steps of the program and never fully understood what they were talking about until I experienced working through them myself.  Thank God for those who taught me where to go and how to attain this experience.  But, like the banana analogy, I had to get off of my butt and take the action to get it.

Another great example for me is experiencing the presence of God.  No matter how hard I tried to understand what this may feel like, I never knew until I actually felt it myself.  And then to describe it to others seems just as futile as when others tried to explain their experience with God to me.  And unlike bananas, I can only experience parts of God's nature secondary to the confinements of space, time and my human limitations.

The Steps have helped to remove or lessen some of these limitations, which has helped me experience the presence of God more fully.  However, I know that only after all my limitations are removed and I have "graduated" from this life into the next, will I fully experience all aspects of God's nature.


  1. your post was priceless! i understand fully what you are saying about having to experience things for yourself, knowing that they mean well when they share! why do you suppose it takes us so long to get to the place where we finally want to 'go there'? it sort of makes me feel bad to think that my own testimony might not hold the power (for lack of a better word) for someone to help them rethink...
    your post is awesome!

  2. This is true of everything - experiencing it directly is not the same as being told. It makes for some interesting challenges for fiction writers.

    You won my contest. I sent an email.

  3. I get this totally. I wonder why more people don't understand that taking action by way of the steps is essential.


Thank you for sharing!