Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Time to Think

I just returned this week from a brief sabbatical designed to allow time for quiet, reflection, study, meditation, preparation, prayer and thinking. I did a lot of thinking.

There is a statement from one of the greatest thinkers, Albert Einstein, that captures the challenge of good thinking. Einstein said, "We cannot resolve problems by using the same thinking that created those problems." So true.

We say things like "Think outside the box" to try to get at this idea of new and creative thinking. I reflected on Jesus as a great thinker. The results of his life demonstrate that he was a truly creative thinker. For example, his disciples were having an arguement about which one of them was the greatest. (Matthew 20:20-28) Jesus response to this kind of thinking was to say this is the way the world thinks but there is a better way - to think soberly about ourselves - with humility. We don't promote ourselves as powerful and all knowing, we choose to think and act like a servant. This Jesus says is the way to true greatness.

This is creative, out of the box, thinking. In a world of self-promotion, preoccupied with gaining power, control, and dominance this is a dramatically different way to think and live.

I want to think deeply - to mediatate on things day and night for a while before I take action. Often it is days into thinking and meditating on something that clarity about a good way to respond comes. For sure, good thinking should lead to good actions that solve problems and help others solve problems.

I recalled that once Jesus' disciples came to him and said we have this huge crowd of people and they are hungry and we need to send them away so they can find food. Jesus said no. Do something - find a solution - don't ignore the problem. (Luke 9:12ff.) This is bold thinking and acting.

I read recently about an avid runner who came up with an idea to help people who did not have shoes. He starting asking fellow runners to donate their slightly worn running shoes to the cause. The first year he collected and gave away 500 pair of shoes - more recently he collected 5000 and gave them all away. He came up with a creative way to help rather than not think about it.

So as I close with my "tradtional" way of closing my blog each time, I am still ....

Just thinking, (but hoping and praying to be a better thinker with each passing day)


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