My mind rarely kicks back and takes a rest. When I was a child, my mother often said, “Susie, you think too much!”
Thinking a lot must be a bad thing, I concluded.
Years later, a college professor said, “You know, you have a very fertile mind.” His compliment brought tears to my eyes.
Perhaps thinking a lot may be a good thing. I wondered.
When I say to my husband, “Honey, I’ve been thinking….” Ron often holds his head and says, “Sue, please don’t think!” Ron knows my thinking invariably leads to projects involving a fair amount of work for him.
Thinking a lot certainly is where new ideas are hatched.
Our pastor sometimes talks about the “gerbils” in his head. I know precisely what he means. The only problem with making Pastor Mike’s imagery my own is that I dislike every mammal belonging to the rodent family. The thought of one running around in my head—no matter how cute those little critters are to some—grosses me out!
I much prefer the word picture Jan Karon—one of my favorite authors—paints in her Mitford novel, Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. I read the words one autumn morning in the way-too-early-to-be-up-and-reading hours. Sleep had eluded me that early morn. My thoughts kept dashing to and fro until I decided to just get up and enjoy a good read.
Of Father Tim, the endearing Episcopal priest and protagonist of the Mitford series, Karon writes…
“He had a go at his own book, but his mind dipped and reeled
like a swallow in summer air.”
Gerbils. Swallows. I’m well acquainted with thoughts that
reel in my head.
The psalmist, David, shares insights about thoughts in one of my most beloved passages of Scripture, Psalm 139. The NLT translates it this way:
You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. (v. 2)
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! (v.17)
And finally, David’s invitation:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (v. 39)
That fall morning, even though I was a bit tired because of lack of sleep, I
picked tomatoes before an early autumn frost started nipping at them;
made a batch of clam chowder before the potatoes in the pantry
caught up on that forever-waiting laundry; and
took some time between tasks to write a bit.
I thought about David’s words a lot that day and breathed a silent prayer.
Thank you, God, for thinking precious thoughts about me, even though you know how my thoughts become scattered and aren’t always admirable!
I invite you to search me. In the busyness of this day, help me catch a glimpse of what you see in my heart that doesn’t honor you. Show me when my thoughts are anxious, and remind me you want to replace my anxiety with your peace.
Listening on YOUR Journey:
- What ‘scampering thoughts’ wake you up during the night? What do you tend to do with them?
- If indeed God’s thoughts about you are precious, and if indeed, like David, you invited God to search and test your heart as well as reveal your anxious thoughts, what do you imagine God might say to you?
May your thoughts this day be blessed….
This Red-Tail Tropical Bird dipped and reeled for us on a beautiful April day while we vacationed in Kauai, Hawaii.