If you were to hear my thoughts at any given time, you might be surprised. Hopefully you wouldn’t hear anything negatively shocking, but I rarely go a moment without something running through my thoughts. A prayer, a mental conversation, a running story, a blog post idea, a to-do list, and so on and so forth.
This morning I found myself pondering my ponderings. Many of them result in action, especially the conversations, the blog posts, and the to-do lists. Sometimes, though, the thoughts simply remain in my mind. They are like daydreams that only I enjoy. That realization bothered me a bit this morning as I pondered.
If those thoughts are just there because I hang on to them for distraction and diversion, should they be there at all? If they remain, are they idols?
What if those delightful daydreams I enjoy so much really were planted there for more than my personal enjoyment? What if I’m supposed to be using them like I do my other thoughts?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that every thought I conjure up, every daydream, and every harebrained scheme is worthy of action. But there are things that have floated around in my heart and mind for years as nudges, ideas, and general thoughts. Yet I have left them there, useless and impotent. Most of them have remained because I fear taking action. I fear that I will be unable to bring them to a useful conclusion. I fear failure…and sometimes success as well.
What if others had kept their dreams in their minds because of fear? What if…
…Noah just sat back and pondered the ark in his mind instead of actually building it?
…David and Solomon gabbed about the beautiful temple but never gathered materials or implemented the plan?
…Paul stayed in Arabia soaking in his visions of the Lord instead of traveling and teaching?
…missionaries like Adoniram Judsona, Gladys Aylward, and Eric Liddell decided never to pursue their passion to share the Gospel with the Chinese?
…George Mueller just continued to feel sorry for orphans without ever acting on his concern?
What if the countless authors and musicians I enjoy had let their fear of failure or success keep them from writing and singing? What if the amazing people at Home Educating Family decided to never try to break the mold of homeschool conventions, product reviews, and homeschool resources? What if a rural church had never taken a chance on a young man who had never served as a pastor before, instead looking for someone with more experience? I know my life would be very, very different in all three scenarios.
So often I think that because I am not great like some of the dreamers of history, my dreams must simply be restrained and kept in my head. But what if God really did put them there? And if He did, what if He intended that they become action?
I honestly struggle to evaluate what is a nudging plant from the Holy Spirit and what is my own imagination. But, thanks to the presence of the Holy Spirit, I can take every single thought captive. I can present each one before God, discarding those that are fruitless and focusing my energy on those that stand true when held up to the Word of God. And I can actively pursue those that stand the test of truth. I choose to begin now by sorting, evaluating, discarding, and acting.
What daydreams do you need to act upon?