Liturgical Readings for Tuesday in the First Week of Lent
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)
What would it be like to have thoughts like God’s thoughts? It seems from this verse that God’s thoughts lead to God’s ways and therefore, since our thoughts are not like God’s thoughts our ways are not like God’s ways.
I am reminded of our old “Think and Do” books in private school when I was in first or second grade. I can’t remember the content so much but I have never forgotten the title, “Think and Do.” Think and Do parallels thoughts and ways. So if I want my ways to be more godly then my godly thoughts must come first. While we will never be able to achieve the mind of God I think at least trying to move in that direction is a good first step to a more godly path and way.
There may not be a big difference between thought and love for God. For that matter, for God, think and love may, in some way, be the same thing. If God thinks in love, how do I copy that? I too must think in terms of love. This means that whenever something bad happens I should immediately go into recovery mode, into make-whole-again mode. There is always a scene in an adventure movie where a loved one has been hurt by a villain and the villain runs off. The hero then has to decide whether to give chase or take care of the victim. In almost all cases, the hero attends first to the victim. This is the right and loving way. The same is true for whatever attacks someone we love. The most import thing, the most godly thing to do is provide comfort to our loved ones. The attacker could be another person or persons, a disease, a job loss, or an accident that caused harm. The first step is always to stop the bleeding! This love-action (thought-way) Godly Way is what we want to be and do.
Revenge or retaliation is never a godly way. It is certainly not a loving way. We must learn to turn our hurt and hate into help and healing – searching for another way. If we let ourselves become obsessed with negative relationship we are no longer able to love-act, thought-way, think and do. With retaliation and/or revenge we could get ourselves into a place that would prevent us from being able to help our loved ones in the future.
We can, and should try to get a little closer to God’s Way of thinking and the Way God loves us. Then our thoughts will be at least closer to God’s thoughts, and our ways closer to God’s Ways.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.