T.S. Eliot in The Rock wrote
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
While I may not be as intellectual (nor as seemingly hopeless) as Eliot was, I can certainly relate to these lines. As I’ve spent the last few years in an increasing fervency to learn and become mentally and spiritually prepared to do battle in ministry, I have often felt betrayed by my own mental in-abilities. While I can organize the folders on my C Drive, and force myself to comprehend complex arguments, it always seems that the more I learn, the less I am able to access that knowledge. It is as if my mind becomes a sinkhole instead of a database.
Typically, I am simply disappointed in my cognitive powers and move on in life. Shrugging off the fact that the valuable lessons I am learning seem to be doomed to inapplicable absorption, I move on. How can I help the way my brain works? Right?
Recently, I listened to a podcast from Desiring God 2010: “Thinking Purposefully for the Glory of God” taught by Rick Warren. Rick really drove home the concept that it is not always the fact that my brain is incapable, but more likely: sinful and lazy.
So I looked into it. Depending on which English version you use, the Bible has upwards of 60 to 130 uses of the specific word “think.” Many times, this word is used as a command by God either positively (think of this) or negatively (do not think…). Further, in that all famous passage, Philippians 4:8 details “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Supporting the same idea but the in opposite, the New Testament alone uses the word “deceive” 33 times; the vast majority a command to “not be deceived.”
Evidently God expected us to not think very well. So much so, that He made the call for thinking an important part of His revelation to man. Somehow this has escaped my attention until recently. So whenever my time alone with God, meditation on Scripture, or conversation in prayer gets interrupted by my wandering head… I can’t just blame it on my inability. Whenever I learn something new, something that I believe God wants me to apply in my ministry or life… it is not acceptable to simply hope it transfers into reality. Just like how I use my actions is fair game in spiritual development, controlling and harnessing my brainpower (no matter its size) is an expectation.
What about you? Do you let your head lead the way (even though it is likely deceived?) or do you take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)?
Think about it. (yes, pun intended)