“The Lord knows the thoughts of a man, that they are a mere breath.” -- Psalm 94:11
We live in a world in which the average man or woman cares a great deal to express his or her thoughts on just about anything. Social media phenomena such as Facebook, Instagram and the like only serve to reinforce this contention. On a deep and fundamental level, we want to be known and we want others to know our thoughts — our thoughts about what is meaningful, our thoughts about what we take to be true, our thoughts about life, food, friends, pets, ad infinitum. At one level, there’s nothing really wrong with this thirst to make our thoughts known, for we were created in the image of God and, as such, we are created to express our hearts, our lives, our aspirations, and our thoughts. Unfortunately, due to the sad truth regarding the nature of the “fall” of humankind (Genesis chapter 3), many of our thoughts are tainted and are subject to err. Ironically, and somewhat humorously, as much as we enjoy thinking, we seldom enjoy thinking about thinking. When we do, we find ourselves grappling with the mysteries of rationality itself. We either find ourselves concluding that reasoning itself only makes sense only if a divine thinking Being is behind it all, or conversely, that all human thought is ultimately reducible to absurdity.
I can only imagine how patient God must be as he looks down upon us and witnesses the futility and hubris of much of our thinking. Indeed, as the psalmist quips, our thoughts “are a mere breath.” Not all of our thoughts are inaccurate, however. Let me not fail to be clear about what I’m getting at here. The Psalmist is not contending that our thoughts are useless, but that they merely pale in comparison to the thoughts grounded in the infinite, majestic God of the universe. Indeed, we should hold on to our thoughts with an unwavering humility — a humility rooted in a knowledge that we cannot ever be the ultimate arbiter of what is true. This is God’s prerogative and His alone. With grateful hearts our objective should ever be, to quote St. Augustine, “to think God’s thoughts after Him.” God is glorified when we think, but He is more glorified when we think rightly about Him, ourselves, and the world in which He has situated us. Let us continue to think, but let us begin to think to the glory of God.
Question for the Day:
What comes to mind when I think about thinking?