Revelation. That moment when something shrouded becomes unveiled. The place where truth pierces through darkness and shines a beam of light. Murky becomes clear. Angst becomes peace. Discouragement becomes hope… And it often comes in the most unexpected places.
Cramming for a Psych 101 test may not be the place you would expect revelation to emerge, but it can. And it did. And I am so happy that it has. This has been one of my favorite classes. Why? Because I am fascinated by the human brain, behavior, emotions– the whole enchilada. To be perfectly transparent, I think that my interest in the field of psychology has developed from my need to understand myself and my own emotions better. They puzzle me, or better yet, straight up confound me at times.
In my recent chapter on human development, I was reading about how children develop attachment and learn to regulate their emotions. In the 1950’s a psychologist wanted to conduct research on nonhuman attachment. During his time, psychologists generally believed that infants needed their mothers primarily as a food source. However, this particular psychologist believed that idea to be inadequate. He recognized through his work with infant monkeys that infants need comfort and security as well.
He set up a series of experiments in which he created two surrogate mothers for these monkeys. One was made of bare wire and had a bottle attached to provide milk. The other was a soft terry cloth mama that did not provide milk. The baby monkeys spent most of their day clung to the soft mama. It provided comfort for them.
The psychologist went on to introduce a mean looking robot with flashing eyes and scary teeth to the cage where the monkeys dwelled with their “mothers”. The babies would always run to the soft mama and cling to her. Once they clung to her, not only would they calm down, but these previously terrified babies would actually confront the creepy robot! Clinging to their mother made them BRAVE.
As I scanned my eyes over that last sentence, I realized something profound. These babies were able to move from vulnerable victims to bold defenders because they clung to their mother. They didn’t merely hold on to her with some sort of weak and indifferent grasp. They purposely grabbed on with a strong and definite grip. That solid stance to trust in their mama and hold on tight is what gave them their courage to stand up against their enemy. Clinging equaled bravery.
This fact pierced me deeply. So often I hang on to God and His promises with a pathetically weak and unintentional grasp. I grab on with one hand but don’t completely let go to what is in the other long enough to fully take hold. I allow doubt and double-mindedness to ooze through the fingers of my unattached hand. But clinging is intentional. It is a solid choice to trust, believe, and place confidence in the one you are holding on to. Your grip has a purpose and acknowledges your dependence on the one you cling to. If these sweet babies innately know that clinging equals confidence, why should my hold on my Heavenly Father and the life of His son in me, be any less ? ❤