Thinking Thursday

Thinking Thursday is what they called it at one of the large companies here in America. It was a day, Thursday, during which employees were to give time to focusing on their jobs and simply thinking about what they’re doing and how they could improve it or what they need to do — Thinking Thursday.  It was a unique idea that is being looked at by other companies so their employees can do more real, significant, thoughtful thinking. From the description that was given, Thinking Thursday was a day when there would be no meetings. Regardless of what kind of work you’re in, you’re probably subjected to meetings. Many meetings. Multiple meetings. Meetings on top of meetings. Meetings to plan for meetings, but on Thinking Thursday no meetings were allowed.

Not only that, no interruptions could happen. It was not a day when employees would walk from cubicle to cubicle or up and down the halls just talking to people, because they were supposed to be sitting there thinking. No intentional interruptions of folks. Let them think and on this day, if at all possible, no appointments. No going to see or receiving people coming to get help. Just taking care of business, looking at your work, taking a snapshot of where you are, looking back at where you’ve been, and dreaming about how you can better do your job and accomplish tasks in the future. It is supposed to be what it is called: Thinking Thursday. It is a day not just of relaxation, though that would be fine, but it is a day of just setting everything else aside and considering the best way to go about your work.

In most of our lives, even the relaxing moments are pressure-filled pauses as we prepare for what is just ahead. It is filled with preparations for the next day, the next court appearance, the next speaking engagement, the next heart surgery, the next business trip, the next children’s event or activity, the next doctor’s visit, the next business deal, the next health issue, the next family crisis. The next, the next, the next… all of which is of course a part of life but as some people describe it, there just seems never to be a time to think about themselves and just to reflect on life and think about who they are, what they are doing, where they are headed.

I don’t know how far-reaching Thinking Thursday will be, but I do know that Jesus oftentimes brought His disciples aside for a different kind of moment, a “come apart” kind of moment, to be away from all the crowds that were gathering in His ministry, all the noise that was there in the cities, all the pressures that would come from the conflicts or the needs of humanity. He would bring them apart and there He would rest or pray or maybe think.

There is an interesting insight into Jesus’ life at this point in John 18:1-2. After the Upper Room supper, Jesus took His disciples into a garden. Scripture says in John 18:2 that He often did that. Apparently, that garden was a place of retreat, rest, reflection, and on this particular night it would become the night of maybe the best known and most significant prayer of Jesus as He looked into the cup and said, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39).

Scripture tells us when He took His disciples to the garden, something else took place. He left most of them in one area of the garden and took Peter, James, and John a little farther away. There He left them, instructing them to pray and to watch with Him, but He went on still farther. All alone, He met with the Heavenly Father. Sometimes when we seek peace and quiet and solitude and significant moments, we just move from one crowd to another crowd to face the same kind of pressures only with a different group, but Jesus went the distance to get to the place where He could meet alone with the Father. In our day you can be sitting in a room alone and be caught in the same turmoil of life by just picking up your phone. There you will find maybe scores of emails that have come in, text messages that are urgent, calls that you missed. If all of those are missing, go to Facebook and traipse around the world looking for what kind of hurts or needs or challenges and problems that exist moment by moment. You can find news from every newspaper in America, every television outlet, and every conceivable kind of special interest blog and opinion to be found on the planet. You can get away only to dive in to a world of conflict and confusion or just information and new ideas.

It is difficult to find that spot in your life where you are isolated from everything else except talking to and, even more importantly, hearing from God. While most of us would have a hard time facing a day or week without our cell phones, they’re not actually phones. They are powerful computers connected to every sector and every idea and every emotion and every need of the human race, all in the palm of your hand. We need a Thinking Thursday. Better than that, we need a meeting with God moment each day where we intentionally push out all the sounds that rush into our hearts. Seek to cool enflamed emotions so that we can rationally connect with our Lord and specifically look at who He is, His power and authority, His glory and excellence above all things and allow Him to shape the things that are important in our lives.

Maybe 2,000 years ago Jesus focused our attention on that truth when He said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33), and in essence all this other stuff – all of it — will be taken care of. Many of you receive your copies of The Baptist Record on Thursdays. Take a few moments today to have a Thinking Thursday at least in part, but it doesn’t matter what day you read this article. Just commit to God that you will extract yourself from all the things in which you are entangled — good, bad, and otherwise — and get with Him to let Him speak to your heart day by day.

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Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer