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Does this really require me to think?

Does your 'thinker' always work? Mine doesn't! There are lots of times I'd have to admit I might have totally disengaged my 'thinker' and was acting merely on 'feelings'. Thinking is hard enough when we 'have to' do it, but when we don't feel like investing the time or energy into thinking things through, we usually find we get down the road and don't have what we needed for the journey. Some of us shut off that 'thinking' side of our lives on purpose, while others of us abandon 'thinking' almost without even knowing we have done it. There are things we do by 'instinct' now - like putting on our socks or lacing up our shoes. We don't have to really engage our 'thinkers' to get those tasks done. It has become what most refer to as 'muscle memory' - really showing our 'thinkers' don't have to continuously be engaged in order for us to have purposeful action take place!

Good thinking will keep you safe. Understanding will watch over you. (Proverbs 2:11)

Truth be told, good thinking eludes some of us, at least some of the time. We just don't 'think through' a particular course of action and end up wishing we had! There is much to be said about taking time to think, but we all know someone (maybe even ourselves) who took so long to think on a matter that the opportunity passed them by. When I was first learning to drive, I was a little overly 'thoughtful' about how to merge into a busy street with oncoming traffic. In fact, I'd sit there and miss opportunity after opportunity, frustrating my backseat companions who were anxious to get to the next stop so they could also refine their skills behind the wheel. We can 'overthink' matters just as easily as we can 'under-think' them.

Understanding and good thinking may seem like the same thing, but one is the process while the other is the wisdom to know what to do once we have completed the process. Those things we do by 'instinct' now are things we have developed a good understanding of in our life. We know turning the faucet one way yields cold water, while turning it the other will deliver hot water. (Note to self: In Arizona in the summer, there is no 'cold', only hot and hotter) We don't have to know how the water gets to the faucet and flows freely until we one day don't have any water flowing. At that moment, we have to 're-engage' our thinking and begin to explore the 'how' behind what has become such a 'routine' part of our lives.

The danger in routine is that we seldom engage our 'thinker' in the process of performing it. The more we rely upon what requires no thinking, the more in danger we will become 'non-thinkers' in our world. We will just do things by 'instinct' or 'feeling' and that presents some very dangerous outcomes. Even with routine things, it is oftentimes wise to re-engage the 'thinker' just to be sure things haven't changed in the process. Just sayin!

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