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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

16 January 2019: Rev'd Stephen Wright, Petersfield Methodist Church

Do you know the way to Funafuti?

A map of the world lay before me. I was handed the name of a capital city and challenged to identify whose it was. If I did so, I’d win the game. The problem, was that the name of the capital was Funafuti, a place I’d never heard of before. Nevertheless, in an instant I decided you’d find it on a tiny Pacific Island called Tuvalu.

To my amazement, it was the correct answer.

It also got me thinking about instinct, intuition and feeling, and how the none rational, is part of human decision making. It’s not how we like to think decisions are made.

On the same day as my gaming triumph, the headlines concerned a NASA space probe which was encountering a rock, 4 billion miles away, at the far end of our solar system. A tribute to our ability to calculate and rationalise. A model we would like to carry over into all decision making.

The reality, I suspect, is more complex, with head and heart both having a place. Decisions about Christian faith are no different. It is fashionable to confine it to the none-rational side of things, but those who own a faith today would hardly be happy with such a conclusion.

On the other hand, in a world where there are numerous objections to faith, more is involved than an exercise in pure reason. Faith, like many other decisions in life involves head and heart. So I will remember Funafuti, not just because it’s a great sounding name, but because it points to the strange complexity of human beings and of the decisions we make.

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