Conflict

D L Henderson
7 min readJun 10, 2024

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Conflict

June 9, 2024

What happens when one action has an opposite but equal reaction? In a way, this describes a very basic conflict.

Air is invisible. So, how do we know it’s there? Wind? Exactly how much wind is needed to prove air exists?

Some people still believe the Earth is flat. Others have seen photographs from far above it, from Outer Space, showing that it is as round as a ball.

People can still have disagreements about such facts, even though truth is staring them in the face.

Many are familiar with a SciFi phrase that comes from the movie, Star Trek: “Resistance is futile.” However, this fictional Enterprise later proves otherwise… It is a conflict in which resistance is absolutely necessary.

In real life isn’t that a fact, not a fiction? Resistance is necessary. Resistance to wrong ideas, wrong motives, wrong actions… Still, how are we to decide the right from the wrong?

So, am I proposing that conflict is a “necessary evil” to be upheld and promoted at all times and in all cases? I hope the reader doesn’t get that impression. I am trying to move to a very different conclusion.

Everyone needs to settle down and ease up a point or two, because conflict only results in more conflict. A bold example is how the conflict of WW 1 resulted in WW 2…

Now, a more personal illustration…

As a teenager, Joni Earickson Tada dove head first into the water and broke her neck, and she became crippled from the neck down. https://joniandfriends.org/jonis-corner

You would benefit from reading the rest of her story…

In a rather stupid way, was the rock to blame? In a similarly foolish way, was God to blame? Was it all her fault? I’ll say “No” to all three. She was excited about the day and was just trying to have fun — to enjoy her life…

Really. Read her storied autobiography answering my other two challenge questions. She has experienced all kinds of personal conflicts.

Now, I return to my starting point, but posing a more difficult question: What happens when one person’s dearly held opinion conflicts with another’s? One person’s life sustaining, essential belief acts against another person’s, creating an opposite but equal reaction. Then, what? In such a conflict, can we always just write opposing views off in our accounting as only matters of opinion?

Well, sometimes yes, but sometimes no.

In some cases, conflict arises, and not always politely… and often more emotional than reasonable…

Today, there is a tremendous amount of such intense conflict. Let me attempt to illustrate: There’s the simple question of weather. It is a rainy day. Is that a good thing or bad? If one farmer is bringing in his hay and another has just finished planting his corn, then weather could be a sometimes yes situation, a matter of opinion. However, look at politics — which has always been a hotbed for hotheads. In that instance, it would be one of those sometimes no, not simply an inconsequential matter of opinion.

Such beliefs are held as a more serious concern. They are clenched very tightly. Sometimes they can ruin friendships and even family unity.

Then, where does love go?

What price are we willing to pay?

Are we so rich within ourselves that we can spare family or friends?

How about religion with its many facets of belief within all their divergent conclaves. This church and that other one, over there. “Those people there, you know…” pointed out Mr. Snidely.

Then, who has gotten it right?

Whose opinion reigns supreme?

First, I’d propose to apply the old maxim “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Therefore, we should judge any “wisdom” by its results… or should we?

How complicated can we make life? We make questions about our questions, ad infinitum!

So, how about a change of direction? In what way can we uncomplicate life with answers in meditation? Unfortunately, no.

First of all, there are different and divergent ideas defining meditation itself! It just raises another conflict trying to define exactly what meditation is!

To wit:

Eastern meditation utilizes many physical exercises to remove one’s mind from the temporal reality. It is critical to escape the temporal reality when meditating. Disturbances or lack of focus on the divine, prevents this type of union. In Eastern Meditation, the soul is opened to another reality. Sep 27, 2019 — https://aihcp.net/2019/09/27/meditation

On the other hand, Biblical meditation is just the “opposite and equal reaction.” That is to say, its methodology is far different.

Notably:

The simplest way to highlight the difference is to say that for the one , meditation is an inner journey to find the center of one’s being, while for the other it is the concentration of the mind/heart upon an external Revelation.

For the one revelation/insight/illumination occurs when the inmost self (which is also the ultimate Self, the one final Reality) is reached by the journey into the soul, while for the other it comes as a result of the encounter with God in and through his objective Revelation to which Holy Scripture witnesses. . . — https://www.cslewisinstitute.org/resources/biblical-meditation-vs-eastern-meditation/

In my own understanding, the operative method for Eastern meditation is an emptying of one’s mind and dissolving practicality and one’s own thinking. Biblical meditation demands a level of concentration and focusing on the practicality and pragmatism of God, Jesus, and the Bible.

So, therein is a genesis of obvious conflict.

At least, some people are trying to resolve ever present conflict. They have, again, in my opinion, chosen the wrong path to accomplish their noble goal.

So then, I put to you this question: Which guru should a person follow? Jesus who you cannot see or a stranger sitting right in front of you.

I suppose you could get to know the one sitting in front of you, but there are so many questions you should ask, but cannot. Remember the objective to empty your mind?

What about the invisible Jesus? There. too, are so many questions you should ask.

With Jesus, I can testify to you that when I ask and usually keep on asking that in the end, I do get answers — straightforward, honest, and practical.

I usually ask God when I don’t trust the answers in my head, in the encyclopedia, or from some self-proclaimed guru, or any Christian leaders.

I suggest asking a lot of questions no matter which definition of meditation you choose. When pursuing my own answers, I challenged God of the Bible with my many questions. I wanted answers — not a never ending pursuit of vagueness.

In the Eastern definition of meditation, the opposite seems to be true. One has to empty one’s mind, focusing on mystery. So, I ask, “How can the pursuit of an enigma result in anything but obscurity and ever more questions?”

In fact, even the innocence of Yoga exercise is actually replicating battle positions of fabled demons at war with each other. Therein lies a danger. Emptying one’s mind, pursuing answers from emptiness and fables, that is, from someone’s made up gods, what is the resulting testimony of benefit — practical benefit?

Not very much beyond physical dexterity, I’d say.

Here is another interesting story of a man named Jeff Morgan:

First a couple quotes, and then please read his story from this website:

https://jewsforjesus.org/our-stories/jeff-morgans-story

“My insecurity and inability to deal with major challenges led me to New Age spirituality.”

“My mantra changed from I create my own reality to I am so exhausted.”

Finally, if you would consider it, as for my own story, I was simply a mess. I had no direction, no answers, no nothing. I sought “something” and real answers in the drug culture of the 60's.

First, I tried using marijuana which gave a sense of calm, and soon after, hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and actually, any other illegal non-pharmaceutical chemicals I could lay my hands on — from opium to stimulants — thinking this was the way to find answers and resolution of my inner conflicts.

It only brought emptiness, nothingness… results much like that one kind of meditation which I now reject as futile…

Thus, I was pouring ideas and many other things into a very large glass which had no bottom.

I almost fell headlong into that bottomlessness, but I called on God and He pulled me out immediately, and He set me on the right path to answer not only all my questions but all my needs — even questions and needs that had not ever, ever occurred to me!

Yes. My life has been improving ever since I turned to God, Jesus, and the Bible, who are continually filling my heart and mind with nothing but answers and resolution to conflicts… Filling and fulfillment — not emptying and disappointment.

In conclusion then, I say, “There will always be conflicts, but God…

If you too feel that you are pouring yourself into a bottomless glass, your answer lies in the phrase, “But God..’

I’m telling you the truth, not just “my truth,” and there are many stories testifying to “but God…” Not just my story. Many stories. In word, deed and song, Yes. God exists, and He rewards those who earnestly seek answers from Him… Better yet, seek God and His presence in your life.

“For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.” —

Psalm 36:9, NLT

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between