Alan Alda once said,
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
We all make certain assumptions about life. These assumptions are based on many, many factors such as our previous experiences, our upbringing, the ideas and ideals of the people we love and respect, our beliefs, our friends etc. All of us make assumptions about things. In fact, our brains are wired to make assumptions, categorize and classify. Our processors are made up of a complicated network that stores previously learned information and is able to recall that information on demand to help us cope with present scenarios. The trouble with making assumptions is that often our previously stored information is wrong. However, we don’t know it is wrong and thus continue in error based on that assumption. For example, how many of us have watched a basketball game and heard the commentator say, “This guy is prolific on the free throw line! He hasn’t missed a free-throw in his 28 previous attempts!” Then, what do we say immediately after hearing that? You know what we say. We say, “Oh great thanks for jinxing him, now he’s going to miss!” You see our assumption, based on previous experiences, has seemed to indicate that when someone makes a declaration like that, odds are it is not going to happen now based on this mysterious thing called a jinx. Now if you have nothing else to do and look up the word “jinx” in the dictionary, you will find that the verb form means someone who casts a spell on someone or a person that brings bad luck. Okay, not so clear. Let’s look up luck. Luck: that which happens by chance. Hmmm…ok? Chance? – see luck. In other words, we don’t know. Assumption based on error! The same holds true when people make declarations such as, “I haven’t ever had a car accident!” Uh oh, watch out now – you better knock on wood. (Because when you knock on wood it ummm errr ummm brings good luck?) What was luck again? haha Okay you get the point.
The reason we need to occasionally challenge our assumptions is that we need to be sure that we believe to be true, actually is true and not based on something silly we learned or were taught in the past. When I was a kid my Dad used to say that you cannot stand in front of the window during thunder and lightning storms or else the lightning would strike your teeth if you smiled. I bet I was 13 or 14 and still trying to stifle my smile during the storm. Silly huh? The more serious reason to challenge our assumptions is that there’s a whole lot of error going around the world today, by design mind you, for no other purpose than to mess humans up. If you have been taught something that is erroneous and believed it, you will rely on that error to make your decisions and then you will practice error. Then, like James Allen said, nothing can come from corn, but corn.” In other words, you will practice error and get an erroneous result (bad result, no result, ineffectual result). Then…you will have to explain to yourself why you didn’t get the right result and will come up with more erroneous ideas like, “Guess I wasn’t lucky” or “Guess God knew better and didn’t want me to have it” or (my favorite) “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be!” It wasn’t meant to be? By whom? God? So I have no free-will or accountability, for that matter? All of life is pre-determined and I’m just a “pawn” in the great wheel of things? That is probably the height of wrong assumptions! In reality, that assumption which shows up in many different forms should be called, “the great paralyzer” of effort. Why even try to accomplish or be successful when all of life has already been mysteriously decided by someone or something else and all I can do is fall in line with that predetermined plan? Destiny is along the same lines. Jesus Christ had a clear destiny to fulfill, but he still had to fulfill it. If at some point he wanted to “opt-out” that would have been the end of that! (thank goodness he didn’t)
So, all of us have certain assumptions about life and our job as individuals is to test those assumptions or track back those assumptions and make sure they are true. There is a real good Book full of truth that can help you “see through” those wrong assumptions and I suspect you already know what it is. (Hint – good Book) The truth will never fail you nor leave you knocking on wood or carrying a rabbit’s foot (which wasn’t so lucky for the rabbit). Why not take the time to find out what God says about life and not have to rely on the world, which is where we got screwed up to begin with!
Hey Pops, “I’m smiling in the window and the lightning can’t get me!”