A Foundation for Thinking

1In the beginning God created heaven and earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, and there was darkness above primeval ocean, and God’s wind was blowing above the water. — Genesis 1:1-2

Thinking isn’t always a popular topic in Christian circles. Sometimes thinking gets blamed for people losing their faith, for their becoming disenchanted with the church, for creating divisions and dissension, or for them becoming rebellious. Occasionally you’ll hear someone say, “He thinks too much,” or “if she would just stop thinking!”

It is quite possible to over-think a problem. When you do so you often make it too complicated, or discourage everyone by thinking of every possible problem. You can also spend all of your time thinking and none of it acting. When I think of the number of things I have thought about but never written down or done anything about, I would like to get some of that time back and replace some of the thinking time with writing and action.

The problem is two-fold. First, acting without thinking is dangerous. Second, we really don’t ever do anything without thinking. We may do so out of habit without thinking it through properly, or we may do it with such brief thinking that we don’t realize we thought, but something goes on in your brain whenever you act. The real question is whether you will think or not.

Now you’re probably thinking (!) right now that I’m getting too complicated today. You may even be thinking that I’m thinking way too much!

But I have a fairly simple point. Please hold on for it. For a Christian, thinking starts with God. Some people may not like me to say that. What about thinking of a grocery list? How does that start with God? Others may be wondering if I mean that they have to start with theological speculation.

No, you don’t have to do any of those things, but if you are really a Christian, your thinking starts with God in any case. That’s because God is the creator. Before he got involved there was not only nothing to think with, there was nothing to think about. “Formless and empty” we’re told in Genesis. Nowhere to go with your mind but an infinite chaos.

To that chaos God brought order and purpose. Without order and purpose your mind would be useless. Even if you’re planning a menu, you’re dependent on God. The purpose of your life, the way in which food nourishes your body, the physics of transportation, everything that’s involved can exist only because God came in and imposed order on complete chaos.

That’s infinite chaos brought to order. That’s a lot of chaos, and a lot of order.

Now think of your own life. Does it consist of order? Are things under control? Then thank God who is the maker of purpose.

Is your life a chaos? Do you feel hopeless? Go to God. No matter how chaotic your life, it is in better order than the universe was when God got started on it. No matter how large your problems, they’re smaller than the problems God solved in a simple move in Genesis 1:1-2.

(Note: Tomorrow I’m going to talk about the same verses, and connect the “wind” and “spirit” of Genesis 1:2.)

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