Practice Original Thought
Man has never invented a single thing (as of this writing)… ever never… nothing new… never… not one new element has been introduced into life. All we’ve done is ‘assemble’ things to be something else, and we call it ‘inventing’. Semantics, I know… but our thoughts and the many things we voice (communicate) have the same tendency… regurgitating things in a different way, but they are the same droning message (repeating news, citing scripture, gossip, etc)… over and again. Like we found a dirty, old, encrusted nickel… polished it up and claimed it as our own… holding it up for the world to see and in turn exclaiming our excitement for this new nickel of ours.
Sure… the word “Regurgitationalistics” doesn’t even exist… well… it might now… since I am using it. Essentially I morphed the word Regurgitation, which fundamentally means; to give back or repeat, especially something not fully understood or assimilated. Now… I am not writing this to teach you some fancy form or regurgitation… rather…
I have noticed that we tend to get all caught up communicating and sharing thoughts, ideas, “news and information” and that we easily fall into the trap of just being talking-heads… mostly. Giving almost NO thought to what we are sharing… just too busy repeating something we heard… something we saw… something someone else shared with us. Almost monkey-like in our zeal to ‘pass along’ some nugget of information… as though we are getting a finders-fee, or accolades for being the one to discover such a nugget… all gleeful and pleased with ourselves.
This rapid-fire means of passing information along is leaving us brainless… training us to think-less about the message(s) we are passing along… giving us that instant gratification that we did society a favor by ensuring this message doesn’t die on my doorstep… at my feet… on my watch…. that it carries on into the future… that somewhere, somehow, someone is touched by it.
So many of our social-websites provide the coolest tools to help us pass-along things that we either find, or their website (feed) has found for us… see… as you are finally realizing (hopefully), these sites ‘watch’ you and track your trends… follow your links… ‘listen’ to your words, and that in turn allows them show you stuff… and you get impressed and ‘touched’ by some moving statement… some touching sunset with the most romantic or spiritual-ish-sounding-probably-true statement… you can just NOT resist posting it to your ‘friends’…. without EVER adding your own commentary… without EVER telling us what ‘that’ means to you… how ‘that’ touched your heart (or mind) and motivated you to share it with us.
Many years ago now, I was sharing some of my photography with an artist Uncle of mine… he spotted this photo I’d snapped in the Golden Gate Park (circa 1984) and asked if he could have it enlarged and mounted for me… uh…. sure, Uncle Leon, knock yourself out. I didn’t see what he saw.
He gave this mounted and framed photo back to me some weeks later. He’d signed and dated it (he’s an artist, remember)… but… what he titled it to THIS day has changed not only how I look at ‘things’, but why I even bother trying to share them with you (and others).
“Mary Had a Little Lamb”
Initially… I thought…. “OoooKKkkkayy… uh… what?”, but then I realized he’d named it “Mary Had a Little Lamb” because to him… it represented Mary (the larger rose) who’d had the Lamb of God (the littler rose).
Yea… tears still well up in my eyes… two reasons… I was that blind before and didn’t get it… and I now see.
Too many people would just name something like this photo, “Roses”, or “Garden Roses”… nothing all too creative or ‘communicative’ about a deeper reason this photo was captured in the first place. You know… the whole ‘what inspires you to snap a photo?’ or, ‘what caught your eye about that photo?’ Give us SOME original thought about the things that inspire you in your life.
Recognizing beauty, quality, even spotting acceptable character traits in others is no place to stop… I mean… passing some lovely photo along to others… even more-so when it has some ‘perfect’ quote in it… is just SO tempting. When you see something like that, you may consider, “oh… I need to show others this ‘nugget of truth’ and pass it along to those around me!”
NOT! Take some time to consider ‘why’ that moves you… ‘why’ it caught your attention… and ‘why’ you are bothering to share it with us. Tell us how that makes ‘you’ feel… what you are experiencing and why that seems to impact you.
OK… maybe you’re not thinking all that deeply about these snippets of information. But, that IS the point… we are learning to NOT have an original thought… we are losing touch with taking the time to consider something before passing it along… to even add ‘our flavor’ to it. No… not change the story and make it your own… just that we need to take a little more time to learn to express something uniquely ours… not passing along someone else’s wittiness, skill, or keen observation.
Many years ago now, I was getting regular texts from a dear friend… a christian brother who has been saved ’bout as long as me… we both were baptized at the same time in the same place. Cass would send me scriptures via texts on my phone. Two things that were bad about this
- This was back in the day when text messages cost 10 cents per message (depending on your ‘plan’), and some of the passages he would send would spread across 4 or 6 text messages…. costing me some 60 cents each time!
- He never, EVER had any comment about the passage… never EVER prefaced it or followed up with some “and I think” commentary.
One day, I finally texted him back and asked him to either start telling me WHY this scripture inspires him to send it, or stop sending them. Uh… he stopped sending them!
And, that is the core of my point… we get our warm-fuzzies passing things along, but we rarely add anything about the ‘thing’ or what it means to us at that moment… why we are forwarding, why we are tagging, why we are ‘liking’, why we are even making any fuss over it. Technology devices today make it so easy to ‘pass it along’… to quickly let others know and see this ‘magical’ snippet that has moved us.
Without us meaning to let it happen, this is teaching us to mimic godliness… to repeat what we see, or hear… to ‘be like’ we are spiritual. Over time and with repetition, we are going to convince even ourselves how ‘close to God’ we are, or how ‘not like those sinners’ we are, and worse… how much closer we are to good than evil. And… that gets us closer to ‘the rub’… the flaw… the core problem with regurgitating information… to retweeting… to liking… to simply ‘tagging’ things for which you approve. You invested NO time or energy into it all… you merely ‘raised your hand in approval’. We are becoming life-like, but not full of life… rather robotic and calculated.
They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
Going through the motions is getting easier and easier to do. With SO many ways to learn to do things, from DIY channels, to websites, to the well stocked YouTube site… almost anything you want to learn can be found. But, it is these subtle mechanisms in our lives these days that is making it tougher for us to even notice it is happening.
So much so, that we are warned that our ‘acting like God’ mannerisms are going to blind-side us… going to catch us right at the very worst time in our lives when it is too late. Notice this warning Jesus gave us;
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Seems odd to me… I mean, the people recognize they were doing things “in thy name”, yet they come up short of the Lord’s hope for our lives… the ministry He wants us to portray. But, to have the Lord say, “…depart from me, I never knew you” seems harsh. Remember… it is NOT how well we know the Lord… it is how well the Lord knows us!
Practice original thought… learn to express your thoughts… learn to personalize that ‘like’… learn to embellish that ‘retweet’… learn to make a topic your own. Any monkey can ‘pass it along’, like you are in some Chinese Fire Drill line, or something. How? Two key elements; 1) Study & Rightly divide His word, and 2) Grow Some Fruit.
Me?? There have always been two scriptures or ‘phrases’ I have kept close in my heart and mind… “Study to show thyself approved” and “Rightly dividing the word”. Then, learn to ‘attach’ some scripture or some godly principle… even just to share something from your life or heart that inspires you to ‘tag’ this photo, this phrase, or this special link (on the social media sites).
Almost all of us recognize beauty… almost all of us recognize quality… almost all of us recognize something inspiring, or motivating, or even just simply something that ‘matters in life’, like a quote, a phrase, or a nugget of truth. Take an extra little moment… take a little extra thought-time… take a little extra energy and just include how/why this ‘thing’ matters to you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
THAT right there is one of the core reasons we need to do two things; 1) add some additional dialog or feedback about the ‘share’ you are passing along, and 2) just pass-over any ‘share’ someone else has passed on without really giving it much more attention.
See… the subtly of heresy… the quiet agreeableness of half-truth… the believability of most of the ‘good things in life’ can actually ease you into a compromising acceptance of the wisdom of the world. Before you are even aware, it becomes a second-nature response in your life… becomes a go-to- statement you might use when someone asks “how is your day”, or “how is your faith”, or even deeper and more critical… “how is your walk with God”.
Splitting hairs? No… separating the sheep from the goats, though! See… being aware of God’s word… being “learned” in the details… being exposed to His teaching enough to thwart the wayward and slippery-slope twists that can be tossed about… it is very important.
Now… not everyone is going to be a writer… not everyone is going to be a preacher… not everyone is going to be a singer… and so on. You are you… you are His child, called to be who He wants you to be… be that! Just… resist doing the quick-n-dirty ‘like’… the simple scan ‘retweet’… the rushed five word reply to someone’s ‘share’. But, learn to apply YOUR ‘fruit’ from the Lord… the special skill… the special ‘insight’ the Lord has bestowed in your life… or is trying to bestow. See… 1 Corinthians 12:8-12 reminds us we all have different ‘fruits’ from a life lived in the Lord… and, fruit is the PROOF that there is life… fruit is the result of a mature and well established plant… fruit is the benefit the plant has gleaned from a hearty root system, great exposure to sun, and deep and rich consumption of the nutrients in the ground.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.1 Corinthians 12:8-12
Now… do NOT get out there and pounce on any and every ‘violator’ of this regurgitationalistic problem… do not seek them out… do not hunt them down and terrorize them until they repent or cease to be so flippant as to just ‘like’ things on the social sites. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 , “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:“.
That is to say that we are to prepare our hearts… prepare our minds… prepare our life… ‘they’ will notice… ‘they’ will take heed…. ‘they’ will ultimately ask you, and you can then ‘give account of the hope that is within you’. But, if you continue to use the social sites to ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ or even to ‘post a link’ without even including your commentary on the matter… you are missing an opportunity to personalize why that ‘like’ even matters.
You may be one of those kind of people who just prefer to keep your opinion to yourself… to keep silent… to avoid a conflict… even to just resolve to keep the peace, as it were. All those are possibly just how the Lord has developed you to be. More times than not, though… these are escape routes for us… they are tactics we have quietly surrendered to in our lives just to chug through this tough life without making matters worse, more complicated and just working toward being less conflicting.
Too many times, it is also being unsure of what to even say… where to ‘challenge’ others… or to question the half-truth of some “accept all people” poem or quote. That is why I’d mentioned studying the Word of the Lord… learning the ins-n-outs… exposing yourself to the deeper details. Point of reference… ready?
There were more than “two of each animal” ushered onto the Ark!
Think I am joking? Go check it out! They went IN “two-by-two” (male and female), but there were MANY more than just two of each! MANY! Genesis 7:1-5
There… that is a little more of what I am saying… what I am hoping to help you ‘see’. Too many of the ‘things of this world’ have influenced the songs we sing, the poems we adore, even the phrases we pass along to our young ones. But, they are half-truths many times, and we just quietly ‘like’ them… or ‘retweet’ them, and even just let them pass on by without raising a hand in disapproval, usually for two reasons; 1) ignorant and don’t know any better, and 2) too afraid (and lacking knowledge) to ‘buck the system’, as it were. In both cases, do something about it! Sure, the first one takes time (need to read, learn, adsorb, and discuss with others), but that second one is the one that usually stops us… just afraid… ill equipped… cautious. The Bible tells us to ‘prepare’, but not to be worried ‘what to say’, because the Holy Spirit will give you the words when it is time. I mean… it ‘was’ the Holy Spirit in your life that riled your attention… why wouldn’t it also be the Holy Spirit that would provide the words… provide that support.
And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:Luke 12:11
The core point is… do more than just agree with things passing through your life. Do more than just ‘keep the peace’… do more than just ‘like’, ‘retweet’ and ‘post a link’. These things make it ‘seem’ like you are in the know… seem like you are connected… seem like you are on top of things. But, add some ‘why this matters to me’ commentary… add some “and the Lord showed me this” dialog… add some of His Spirit to the things you say and do. Change your regurgitationalistic ways to original thoughts!
I like to do three things when I see something I feel I need to ‘pass along’;
- Why – why this caught my attention (link, photo, phrase, article, etc)
- What – what it means to me, how I ‘feel’ about it
- How – how you can be impacted by it too (not simply stating, “this will change your life”)
Now… go on… Practice Original Thought!
…also, ‘like’ this page! Kidding… just kidding!