“We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. As your name (reaches to the ends of the earth), O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
Walk around Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels that you may tell the next generation that THIS IS GOD, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever!” Ps 48:10, 12-14
“These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought I was one like yourself.” Ps 50:21
Thinking well or thinking bad—there is a hairsbreadth of distance between these two polar opposites. What is the difference between a good theologian and a bad theologian? Not much if effort is not applied to being a disciple…
It is tough to train my noggin to think. Usually what constitutes thinking is acknowledging that my mind wanders….a lot. “What are you staring off into space about, honey?” “I don’t know, just letting my mind wander…” or, “Not thinking about anything special, dear…”
Make no mistake; thinking is an exercise to train myself to do especially if I want to think about God. There are so many things that oozes through my gray matter on my shoulders that has me think about anything else BUT God.
But if I don’t think about God, if I don’t meditate (think a lot and think hard) about His Word (precepts, principles, doctrine, law), how do I get to a place where His steadfast love overwhelms me and the praise He is due is found in my mouth? If I don’t THINK hard about God, am I only underwhelmed or less?
There are three things that are directly related to thinking: 1) Praise and affection to and of God; 2) Effectual storytelling about the magnificence and majesty of God to the next generation; 3) A lowering of respect towards God (“…you thought I was one like yourself…”
At the risk of coining another inadequate phrase I neglect the “Power of Godly Pondering” quite a bit. But I shouldn’t.
Storing up the Word in my heart is not limited to memorization; it is thinking about, turning over in my mind, and imagining “what does He mean” here and there? It is chatting about it with friends, not shifting into Christian or Church gear, but making such thinking a reflex of my mind all the time. It is the ability and conviction to apply that profound theological statement “I don’t know” and ask God to reveal the substance in His time and be patient for Him to answer.
Being a disciple in name only is not enough. Like asking for the directions of “How do I get to Carnegie Hall? Answer? Practice, practice, practice.
Lord God, I am amazed at what you are doing in me. You give an Instrument of Grace to understand and reinforce your Ways: “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me, a sinner condemned, unclean…How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be; How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me…” (CH Gabriel/arr. Tomlin). This is what I want the result of my pondering You to be. AMEN