The Suffering Thinker

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

I recently watched a video by Dr. John Maxwell, leadership guru, talking about smart thinking vs. sustained thinking.  It wasn’t very long into his message before I audibly scoffed and said, “Humph, sustained thinking.  Come on John.  I have small children and a husband with an extremely busy schedule.  I don’t know the last time I had a sustained thought.”

As an illustration, I want to share what happened while I was working on this very post.  I had given myself one hour to work while my daughter took in a couple “Super Wings” episodes.  As anyone with some type of life/time constraints knows, when you get those precious moments you try to make the most of every single second.  Shortly after I started writing, the clock above our computer fell off the wall, hit the desk and shattered.  Tiny shards of glass covered the desk, keyboard, and the floor where my children play.  Then, when I moved the computer to clean up the mess, the power cord came out shutting down the work I had been doing.  Ugh, cue the frustration.  It didn’t matter if I was resolved to work on my calling.  Life got in the way as it so often does.  I smiled a little while later when it came into my head that the shattering clock was actually parabolic.  God does not see time or progress the same way we do and I would probably benefit from “throwing out” the way I think about how things get done.

It has taken me a full 15 years to produce any tangible evidence of the call I feel to write.  As years passed and I wasn’t a “writer” yet the shame and regret began to build because I felt like I wasn’t doing what I was being called to do, somehow being disobedient, missing out on an opportunity, etc.  Sadly, I eventually allowed my “sustained thinking” to become “suffering thinking.”  I spent years unnecessarily frustrated with myself and the creative process because I did not place enough value on the “how” rather than the “when.”  I was not remaining confident of God’s process in me and I was sabotaging any joy I might have had along the way.

Many of you have gifts and visions that God has cast into your life.  You spend time thinking about it when you can but there are a great many things that can, and do, get in the way of tangible progress at times.  My encouragement to you today is that when you do get a moment to think, realize that you are working.  Your 30-second thought here or scribbles on a notepad there are part of your sustained thinking process.  You are honoring God’s call in your life every time you add a moment to the string of moments that will eventually lead to your goal.  Relish in the confidence that every step brings because you know, “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”  May I be the very first to congratulate you on reaching your goals, before they are even realized.

Video: Minute with Maxwell Coaching

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