navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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Christianity takes…

Intuition: What is this intuition you speak of?  My intuition is as good as the foam package it came in.  Over and over trusting people, including good friends and just getting my head handed to me.  And of course in social situations being awkward as heck.  I don’t think a lot of people on the spectrum have intuition, I think intuition is largely an NT thing.  Intuition being the ability to size up a situation at a moment’s notice.  I don’t think the autistic brain works that way, at least mine doesn’t.  Christianity takes intuition because so much of “God’s guidance” is just what non religious people would call trusting your gut.  If you are like me and “trusting your gut” has gotten you no where then your faith is going to suffer (as mine did).

Imagination: Atheists say God is imaginary.  They have a point.  Engaging a god takes a robust imagination which modern life with all its instant entertainment screens works against.  The way church services are designed is to point to a world beyond the one we see here, but without imagination all one sees are the props.  Loss of make believe makes one worse off faith wise than almost any other loss.  Additionally the loss of prophetic imagination leaves one unable to picture a world better than the one one finds them self in.  A lot of the good in Christianity has come about by people imagining a better world and fighting toward that end.  Without imagination it’s harder to fight because the reward is not in front of your face (like how the rest of modern life works).

Patience: I always thought that if Jesus could make things go faster, the church would be packed with millennials.  Fast is expected of us and we need a higher power that can make things go faster.  In modern life waiting is almost always a negative and a sign that you are on the wrong side of an imbalance of power (for example waiting for someone late at a party).  There is also the issue that often things come either instantly or not at all because there is not much trust in the system.  Wait implies hope and trust.  Christianity asks one to trust and wait on God.  These things are counter cultural. People (including church people) are looking for results in your life right now, not in “the fullness of time”.

Attention: We are distracted by all our screens and other things.  But Christianity is like a hard to read book, it demands our full attention.  But often we don’t have full attention to give to anyone or anything.  Additionally faith is communal property and authentic relationships require people paying their full bandwidth of attention to each other.  That means putting the smart phone down and being present in conversations and tasks.

Social Skills: The same social skills needed to navigate through life are needed to conduct conversations with a deity.  This puts people on the spectrum at a severe disadvantage because often talking to God is just seen as talking to ourselves (which a lot of us do).  Also to get accepted in a church one needs a certain amount of social skills, sometimes even more so than the secular world.