Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
- Philippians 4:8-9
“I fancy that most people who think at all have done a great deal of their thinking in the first fourteen years.”
- C. S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy
I know what you are thinking. I usually do my “A Thought on…” posts on the weekends. I was thinking about a thought on thinking next weekend, but I might lose my train of thought before I got there, so I thought I would think about thinking now, while the thought is in my head. Or is that overthinking this whole thing … about thinking? Just a thought…
Note: In reading the C. S. Lewis quote, you could surmise that he thinks most people do not think at all, ever. You might think that he thinks that the thinkers think prior to turning fourteen, and then do not think again afterward. Thus, all people fourteen and older simply do not think. But read it more carefully, while thinking. He suggests that there may be some who never think, and that most who think, have done a large portion of their thinking by fourteen, maybe not even half, just a large percentage, statistically speaking. Okay, the way he wrote it, he leaves it up to us to decide what he was thinking.
I thought of this quote yesterday. I had forgotten an ingredient in a soup that I wanted to make. I know, a momentary lapse of thought. I went down the hill to the nearby grocery, and I stopped at a stop sign. It was a Y intersection with the on-coming traffic either going straight up the street that goes near our home or veers left, to my right. There was an on-coming car, turning left. I had no other choice than to wait. After I stopped, a car on the road to my right stopped. In normal circumstances, I had the right-of-way, but I could not go. I had to wait for the car that was approaching. The other car could go but, having not thought, maybe not having had a thought in years, the driver yielded to me, as the approaching car slowed down, taking forever, or so it seemed. The car turned left, and I started into the intersection. The other driver, now getting angry for waiting so long, had a thought. Having not thought that often in years, it wasn’t a good one, a good thought, that is. He thought I was simply not going to ever go, so he shoved his foot on the gas. But now I was moving, already in the intersection in front of him. In a torrent of curse words, he slammed on the brakes, barely avoiding a T-bone collision.
I thought, “Idiot!” Then something came over me. If he was one of those who Lewis talked about in the quote above, he hadn’t had a thought in quite some time, possibly ever. I should be more cognizant of his deficiency of thought. It wasn’t his fault (or maybe it was) that he had not used his brain in such a long time. If he had thought, he could have proceeded long before the approaching car reached the intersection. To be honest, in our little town, cars approaching from that street only stop one in ten times. I was amazed that he did not ignore the stop sign as 90% of the town’s people do. He would have made the previous traffic light up ahead and been out of town by now, if he’d tapped the brakes and driven on. Then another thought entered my head, “Are you feeling any genuine concern for this fellow who has no thought or are you simply being condescending?”
My reply to the thought in my head was, “Does it matter if thinking about him being bereft of thinking, and thus handicapped, keeps me from getting angry at the guy for nearly wrecking my car?”
And that’s when the thought about having a thought on thinking came to mind.
But if we had a thought, why waste it on thinking about those who don’t think?
Let us think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
Let us think about our Savior and let us put what He taught us into practice.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.