Saturday, August 12, 2006
Biologist understand that in nature change (or evolution) is moved forward by strategies, how organisms 'work together' to survive. Let's look at two strategies, TFT and WSLS. TFT (tit-for-tat) is a strategy within a group (be that group humans, or that group animals, or plants, or even a group of microorganisms), when individuals of the group treat one another in a like manner -- tit-for-tat. When successful, a sort of cooperation is maintained, say in a flock of chickens, for when one chicken 'acts up' then the others will too act up and turn against that one chicken and soon that one chicken will either flee, or will get with the program. Tit-for-Tat is alive and well in many office environments, of course its major drawback is that it can degrade into perpetual warfare. The second strategy is the Win-Stay, Lose-Shift (WSLS), which means that the group will all work together as long as they are 'winning' but once their behavior creates a 'lose' situation, then they shift their strategy until they begin 'winning' again. Virus love this strategy, once humans concoct a vaccine, the virus find they are losing, they 'shift' or evolve a bit to render the vaccine impotent, then are once again on the 'winning' path. Of course winning and losing in evolution is the difference between a life-forms' survival or not. I think that God has built these 'strategies' into all living forms, and that is what keeps life going, what keeps life becoming ever more diverse, what keeps life ever dynamic. And my point? Too many Christians believe that God has only one strategy when it comes to 'awakening' humans. They believe that God does things only one way. Of course they will flip through the Bible and piece together that 'prescribed way.' Well, I think God has more strategies than any one of us can ever imagine (just look at His creations!). I can't help but think that some isolated soul in the Amazon jungles may be speaking daily with God. And God responding. Have you ever wondered why Jesus, when speaking with the Roman soldier, the centurion, that he didn't try to convert him? In fact, he used the soldier's great faith as an example for the crowd: "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." And then again, when the rich young man comes to Jesus and asks how he can inherit eternal life, Jesus ministers to the rich man, yet the rich young man wants to be perfect, and with that Jesus gives the price for those who demand perfection -- they must give all. So, in just two examples, Jesus interacts differently, Jesus is flexible, in fact he was his most vocal when it came to the rigidity of the then Temple leaders. And the Temple leaders, perhaps like most leaders, were stuck playing tit-for-tat even when it devolved into a downward spiral.