Have you ever thought about the power of your thoughts? To think about thinking: what a novel idea!
Thinking, as it turns out, is quite an important part of life. What we think about, we begin to believe, and what we believe in is what we defend. We defend our beliefs with words and actions and reactions and assumptions, and before you know it, our habits are formed. We are people who align with this political party or that social-justice group, with this educational paradigm or with that philosophy on raising our kids. Those original thoughts, as inconsequential as they seemed, wind up informing the way we are … they wind up writing the storylines of our lives.
And so, a question: What are you thinking about?
Specifically, what are your thoughts on your purpose? And on how you are to relate to others? What are your thoughts on the subject of hope, the idea that good things are yet to come?
This twenty-eight-day devotional experience has been created for you to, in effect, think more carefully about what you’re thinking—about who you are and why you’re here and the role God longs for you to play in impacting the world around you for good. Consider carving out ten or fifteen minutes each day for twenty-eight days, during your first waking hours, perhaps, or just before you close your day and head to bed. Mull over the “opening thought” and then carefully read the Scripture passage that follows. Release every distraction as you follow the “devotional direction,” and then sit with the “question to ponder” for a moment or two before charging back into task-mode.
In short, take this opportunity to think about your thinking. One noble thought can set your feet on the path of righteousness. One thought indeed can change everything.
How does your story fit into the broader story at work in the world?
What is your place?
The through-lines distinctive to you?
Scripture has much to say on these subjects, insight that might be more inspiring than you think.
“No matter what year you were born, you arrived on the scene into a story already in progress ...”
Read: JOHN 1:1-5
Our plans, our problems, our needs, our desires—if we’re not careful, an entire day can be gobbled up by hyper-focused self-interest, by only that which is happening right in front of us, in our lives. If the pattern is arrested quickly, that day surely can be redeemed. But what if the day turns into two days, and then a week, and then a month? What if the patterns barrels forward unchecked for a year? A decade? A life?
God’s Word reveals that there was a story he was busily telling, long before our lives appeared on the scene. And that story contextualizes our story; without his story, ours won’t make sense. Still, we nod assent at this idea, even as we turn and motor on, content with living out-of-context lives.
The good news—and with God there always is good news—is that we can turn back to him here and now. We can return to the feet of the Father, eager for context that sorts all things out. “Where are you already at work around me?” we might ask him. “What have you captivated today, and why?”
Show me what you see.
Lead me to where you are.
Help me to joyously participate in your grander, God-size story.
These are pleas of an in-context life. These pleas can form the cry of our heart.
What gains might you make by turning attention away from your personal life story to focus on God’s grander story, throughout this day?