The Hard Work of Thinking

A while back I was trying to find a church to attend. We were new to the area and had no specific ties to any church, so we tried a few. There was one church that I really liked. They had a number values and practices similar to my own. This church seemed like a great option for us, but there was one aspect of their theology in practice that I did not agree with.

So what could I do?

I decided to spend time thinking and praying about it. For the next few weeks, maybe even months, every time I prayed and every time I read the Bible, I had this one question on my mind. I needed clarity from God. I wanted to have an answer that would change my thinking so I could feel comfortable attending this church. I thought about it throughout the day. Finally, I just couldn’t find peace about attending that church, but at least I had spent some time seriously thinking through what was right for me and my wife.

Praise generally goes to the “doer,” while the “thinker” is often considered lazy. We have been taught from a young age that there is great value in getting things done. We are told, “Quit daydreaming! Get back to work.” What if thinking about something for a long time was getting things done? Is it possible that thinking about something for a long time can be beneficial?

My desire is to help people pursue their God-given dreams. Some of this involves taking time to think, to meditate or contemplate.

Most definitions for both words include something like this: “thinking seriously about something for a long time.” Whether you are meditating, or contemplating, there are times when it is of great value to slow down, and just think.

Do you know what God wants you to do with your life? Do you know what the next step of the journey is? Before you make a big decision, take some time to think. Seriously consider your situation and what God might have in mind next. Allow God to interrupt your thinking time. Read scripture. Pray. And think.

You may need to block out some time just for thinking. Maybe stay up after everyone else has gone to bed, so you can focus on your thinking, or get up before everyone else does so you can think in peace and quiet.

Have you ever read a scripture and just couldn’t get it out of your mind? I mean, it just kept ringing around in your mind. It may be that God was teaching you something, and he didn’t want you to forget what you had read. You thought about it all day. You thought about it in the shower, and when you were commuting, and when you were supposed to be working. Sure, you did your job like usual, but in the back of your mind you were still thinking about that verse.

We would all benefit from taking time to think on scripture more often. I read my Bible almost every day, but I don’t often stop to just think about what I read, or what God wanted me to hear from Him that day.

It’s too easy to see Bible Reading and Prayer as part of a to-do list to conquer and check off, rather than time to slow down and allow God to soak His words into our minds.

When is the last time you actually just stopped everything to think? To think about something for an extended period of time? Is there an issue in your life that needs to be resolved? Is there a question you would like answered? Why not book off some time, and take a mini-retreat for yourself to purposefully think? Find a place or time where you can have peace and quiet, where all distractions are removed if possible, and think on the issues facing you. You might want to begin with reading some scripture, with a time of prayer, and then just think. If you are like me, and benefit from writing thing down, then write it down. If you are someone who has to think out loud, then think out loud.

You may be meditating, or you may be contemplating, either way, take time to seriously think about something for an extended period of time. See if that doesn’t help you get some perspective on your present issue. Do the hard work of thinking.

Keep looking up

Andy

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