Too many thoughts

Ever had those nights where you wake up because there are just so many thoughts running through your head?  They aren’t always worry’s or stress’s, although many times they are.  Sometimes it is just the thing you forgot, or a thing you wanted to remember or just stuff.  I know I do, and not only at night – I keep a pad of paper with me to write stuff down all throughout the day.

It seems like our lives are so filled with information, plans, worries, thoughts, ideas, stories, reminders, to-do’s – we need countless systems just to keep them organized and they aren’t even tangible things!

Then, smack up the side of the head, came the BSF memory verse that we are teaching the kids the first week.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, 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.

So, first, here is how I’m teaching it:

For true, we are going to hold 1 finger up, because we know in our heads and hearts what is really true and there is only 1 truth. for Noble, we are going to turn the finger to the side, like shaking your head ‘”no”, but we’ll explain what noble really means.  For right, thumb out to the right (that one was too easy, if the kids know right from left that is).  For pure, we are going to clinch the fist – pure means keeping all else out, right?  For lovely, open hand circling their own face – they are children of God and each is lovely.  For Admirable – same thing but turn the hand the other direction – loveliness in others.  For Excellent – cross the arms in and X.  For praiseworthy, raise hands up high.  Then finally, both hands, fingers at temples: think about such things.

Try it – it is fun.  If you have a partner, have them do the “whatever” part and you do the reply.

But, for me… what a verse.  I fill my mind with so many thoughts and worries.  So many things I pray to God about, but seem to hold onto anyway.  So, here is His criteria for what I should be spending my time and brain cells on.  Here is the test.  If it is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, then I should spend some time thinking about it.  What fits that criteria?  Other than God, the bible and love for others, not much that I know of.

But what should I do with all the other stuff in my head?  Well, step 1, pray about it and turn it over to God since He is in control anyway.  Step 2, to quote a dear Italian friend of mine: “forgettaboutit”.

Amen to that!


Do my inabilities get in the way of my ability?

Do my inabilities get in the way of my ability to do God’s will? 

That is a question I stumbled upon today in a book of devotions.  You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty deep.  So deep, in fact, that we have to resort to our highschool english training and “break it down” as the kids would say (that is if the kids were in the 1980’s).

Part 1. Do I have inabilities?  Duh! I excel in my ability to recognize my inabilities.  I can play the whole, “if only…” game all day.  If only I was wealthier, if only I was better educated, if only I was younger, if only… you get the drift.

Part 2. Get in the way of my ability?  Again, yes.  that is evident in the definition of what an inability is, right?

Part 3. to do God’s will?  OK, that is like throwing out a trump card all of a sudden – hearts trump clubs, or something like that.  If it is God’s will that I am supposed to be doing then all of a sudden things get turned upside down. 

So if it is God’s will, the plan that he has specifically for me that He wants and expects me to do, then does my ability matter at all?  Time and again, through biblical stories He points out that the answer is no.  10,000 men, no that’s way too many… send more away, so you may know the victory is mine.   185,000 Assyrians killed in a single night while camped outside the walls of the city.  And dozens more.

My mind started going all manner of direction then.  Maybe God is just having an off-day and didn’t plan accordingly to give me the right abilities for His plan for me today.  Maybe he has me and my talents mistaken with someone else (Moses even tried pulling that one. – “Aaron is more eloquent”)  Maybe God just doesn’t understand the level of ability that is required.

Obviously, none of that mkes any sense.  If it is God’s will for me to do, then He not only knows, but equips, enables, and whatever else.  My job isn’t even to ask him for the things I think I need, to pray all those petitions I get so busy preparing sometimes.  Instead, my only job is to ask that His will be done, through me, today. 

Now that is starting to sound a whole lot like a daily prayer someone might teach us:  Our Father… thy will be done.  Sometimes it stops and makes you think about the words that come out of your mouth when we quote Jesus and just how wise they really are!