Good morning! It is a bright and glorious day here in southeast Texas! A little chilly and breezy but it isn’t raining and it still feels like winter which makes it a great day! We live with nine months of summer interrupted by a month of fall and a combined month of winter all speckled with the occasional return to heat and humidity. I try to never complain when the weather is anywhere below 80.
I’ve been thinking about my backyard lately. It is a big (by suburban standards) empty plot of land. I’m going to start calling it my “back 40.” I have big plans for the yard. After all I’ve only lived here thirty years, I do believe I have sat and thought about what I want to do long enough. Time for some action.
Thinking Too Much
As we have previously established, I get lost in my own imagination. It is very fertile ground up there. Sitting and pondering is one of my favorite activities. Why the good Lord didn’t make jogging or some form of exercise my favorite I have no idea, but from a very early age, sitting and pondering has been my gold medal activity.
The problem with this is that I spend so much time thinking that not much doing gets done. All thought, no action. But, I am promising myself and you, that is going to change and this blog will help keep me accountable. It is so easy to trick ourselves into thinking that it is somehow a high calling to ponder the big issues of life. Well, maybe not everyone, but I certainly have talked myself into this opinion. Thinking must lead to action or should it? I think a lot of things are good ideas, but not all of them should be done. So how to know the difference?
Jesus had his own experience with solitude and physical isolation.
I’m a genius in my own little world. Just ask me! As long as my ideas aren’t challenged or my point of view put up against the activity of the world I can trick myself into believing I have all the answers. That is a dangerous fool’s game. Fortunately I don’t believe that about myself. Occasionally I experience a momentary flash of genius; however, unless acted upon, my thought is like a bolt of lightening that remains in the sky: here one second then gone without a trace.
This morning I was reading from Luke chapter four. This is one of those chapters of the Bible that I need to read regularly, like maybe have a giant vinyl sticker for my wall kind of regularly. It is the story of Jesus going into the desert for forty days to fast. He had just been baptized and was full of the Holy Spirit. But they (Jesus and the Spirit) weren’t alone. The devil was there trying to tempt Jesus into doing stupid stuff. “Go jump off that temple.” “You’re hungry, turn that rock into bread.” And my favorite, “I will give you all the kingdoms if you will worship me.” Yeah, that is a familiar promise isn’t it? Jesus knew better and he also knew how to deal with all the thoughts going through his head during a time of physical and mental denial.
We are at our weakest when we cut ourselves off from God and other people. We become vulnerable to the wrong voices, the voices that though they think they mean well only lead us farther from where we are supposed to be going. The most powerful of those voices is our own. How many times in my life have I done what is right in own eyes, only to have it come falling down around me. I believe this is one ways I lost my business. I stopped viewing it as an outpouring of God’s purpose for my life, a true ministry, and began making decisions based on my own ideas of how to handle things. I listened to everyone including customers more than I trusted God.
Jesus didn’t have that problem. He was so connected to The Father and The Holy Spirit that He could stand up to the worst form of isolation and temptation and survive. He is our example. The very same resources are available to us that were available to Him. We just have to ask. Then listen. Then do what we are led by God to do without trying to rationalize based on human understanding. Or the lack thereof.
How can we possibly know which voice to listen to and which ones to tune out? It is simple. Stay connected to God and follow where He leads.
Until tomorrow…keep looking up, embrace today and go find some fun!