Thinking About Thinking
Today I find myself thinking about thinking. You see, I have had more time to think lately than usual. We have a 3-year old son who likes to wander into our bedroom in the middle of the night a few times each week. For whatever reason, he’s not content to stop
at one visit- he usually makes 3 or 4 before he falls back asleep!
When I wake and put him back in bed the first time, I can usually fall back to sleep myself fairly quickly. But my son has a knack of coming back just as I’m drifting off and waking me yet again. On this second time (or third!), I find that sleep becomes much more challenging. I typically lay awake for another hour or so in the dead of night with nothing to do. So, I find myself thinking.
I am humbled to admit that my thoughts are as random and chaotic as the night is peaceful and silent. My mind races from Seahawks games (and disappointments) to unresolved relational conflict to the full schedule of the next day. Unfinished tasks, confrontation with my children, and plans for the weekend spin their way through on the thinking carousel. Sometimes I turn these into prayers, but often I find myself succumbing to the varied whims of my brain and whatever needs to be downloaded at that quiet hour.
Recently, I ran across this great quote about our thinking:
A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits. –James Allen
So what if all that time I spend thinking- whether in the dead of night or in the midst of my day- really is the seed of action? This thought challenges me, because when I look at my thought patterns, they don’t lead to the kind of joy-filled, confident life I would like to see.
As it turns out, Scripture is filled with verses about the power of our thinking. Here is just a sampling of dozens and dozens that could be listed:
You must commit yourself wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deut. 6:6&7.
Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked…But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it night and day. Ps. 1:1&2
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. Ps. 16:7
Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise! Phil. 4:8
So today I am thinking about thinking, and I am becoming increasingly convicted that what I think leads to who I am. If this is the case, as I believe it is, then my thoughts need greater structure and guidance. My prayer is that God’s Word, and His Spirit, will more frequently be on my heart and in my mind so that my life will more consistently reflect his character and joy.
Join me in thinking about your thinking! And may our thoughts be ever more so His thoughts.