04 December 2006

Thinking About Thinking


What an interesting day for thinking about things. Ladies are not silly, mindless people who move from one task to another or one soul to another without giving a second thought, after all. As I watch the first real snowfall outside, and attempt to guide the children towards better understanding of the three R's and other things, and endeavor to get ready for the mixed-up traditions and feelings of the holidays - I am instructed to think. Today I found two interesting articles which are guiding me to be more careful about how I think.

The first article is from my "daily reader" from a man called Gary Henry, who is a preacher and teacher of the Bible. In "Pitfalls", he uses the following scripture,1 Timothy 6:20,21:
"O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge; by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen."
Then Gary goes on to share what he thinks about in this passage:
Paul warned his friend Timothy against the "contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge," and we would do well to heed a similar warning. Paul probably had in mind something like the esoteric knowledge of the Gnostics of his day, and so his warning may seem to have little direct application to us. Nevertheless, his caution contains an interesting point that we would do well to consider in a general sort of way. There is a principle here that is pertinent to anyone who seeks knowledge, but especially to those of us who seek the knowledge of God: Not everything is knowledge that wears the name. Similar appearances notwithstanding, there is a huge difference between reality and illusion, and whatever it is that we seek, we need to be sure that we find the real thing and not some substitute.
I encourage you to go to his website and read the entire article (or ask me and I'll send it to you). He concludes with this little thought:
We pray, O Lord, for deliverance from all that weakens faith in you:
from pompous solemnity;
from mistaking earnestness for trust in you;
from seeking easy answers to large questions;
from being overawed by the self-confident;
from dependence upon mood and feelings;
from despondency and the loss of self-respect;
from timidity and hesitation in making decisions.
In Christ, we pray. Amen.

The other article I read today was from a young man called "OneGuy" whose thoughtful posts I sometimes read, because he has some good things to think about, and is not encumbered by all the trappings of memorized scriptures and traditions of the churches. I think he has a point today, in "Don't Get Distracted", in thinking about thinking; that is, it's important to think about what you're doing, or you aren't really living. Yes, as Gary said, not all that is called knowledge really is, but it is important to think about what you are doing in order to fully appreciate life.

And so I ponder - I should not let the diversions of this life, this season, get me to stop thinking about those things which are really important: matters of the heart, things of the mind, movements of the spirit. When I think, it should be to awaken me to the realization of what is important, and to live well.

photo from: http://www.quiltware.com/red_hat.asp

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