I mean, that usually when I hear something, see something or read something I just accept it. I don't very often unpack thoughts or ideas very well. It is kinda like my mind is a large room full of unopened packages. Now, I'm not dumb ... I just accept things at face value easily. I assume that if the information isn't obvious and visible on the outside than it must not be important.
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Like I said, this is my default. Thankfully as an adult I have learned to open some of the packages and analyze them. Still, I recognize this as an area that I need to work on. In fact, looking back in my journal I found a written goal from a few months ago:
I want to listen more intently and ask more questions.Basically I need to learn to unpack better.
The strange thing is that every once in awhile I will suddenly and rather violently swing to the other side and completely overthink something.
Here's a silly example that happened the other night that got me thinking.
My daughter showed me a video on her iPod that her brother and her were giggling about. It was a
vine where a boy says, "So I gave this frog a blueberry ... and now he won't let go of it." Then we see a picture of a frog lying on its back in a hand hugging a blueberry, nearly as big as itself, to its belly.
We all laughed out loud at the picture until my brain uncharacteristically kicked into gear - into overdrive actually.
"Can frogs actually lay on their back?"
"That's not the point Mom!"
"I know but it can't be real."
After several minutes my husband joined us in the living room to watch a movie.
"Honey, can frogs lay on their backs?"
"Mom!" My teenagers yelled in unison. "You're missing the point."
Over and over my questions flowed and their responses filled with laughter and teasing followed. But I couldn't let it go. After much time passed, in the midst of our movie I blurted out, "its not a real frog."
My kids groaned in disgust and my son belted out, "Its a real frog Mom! I promise."
"How do you know?" I asked.
"It just is."
And that was the end of that. Sort of.
This morning I am consumed with this idea of overthinking. Usually this trait kicks in for me when I don't or can't believe something. Maybe you are like that or maybe you are the kind of person who unpacks everything? But ...
How many times do I/we question the things we aren't sure if we believe?
- Am I really loved by God?
- Am I saved? Will I spend eternity in heaven?
- Can this sin really be forgiven?
- How can God truly forget what I can't?
We can spend endless energy and time over-analyzing and dissecting the same old arguments in our hearts and minds. But am I unpacking the right things? Or am I leaving untouched the wrong things? What in my faith "just is", without question? I mean, isn't that "faith" after all - taking what I can't see, feel, or touch and accepting it as fact? Why then am I struggling to live out the things I don't understand; why am I overthinking it all?
I've been reminded of a sermon I heard recently. It was about child-like faith. The Pastor said this is where we start - believing that God can. (Luke 1:37) Mary choose to believe what she didn't understand - just because! She believed God had a plan even though that plan led her to stand before a cross one day where her son died.
After we have developed the child-like faith then we must work into deep faith. Our faith is strengthened not by what God does but by who He is.
- God is love.
- God saves His people.
- Jesus died to be our forgiveness.
- God is powerful. Mighty. Merciful.
Deep faith brings me to say I believe in a God who can. But He isn't just a God who can; He is a God who will. In the story of David and Goliath we read "This day the Lord will ..." (1 Samuel 17:37,46). Or the story in Daniel when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are to be thrown into the fiery furnace says:
"... the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king." (Dan 3:17)So ... where does that leave me? If I can stand in front of a camp of young kids and tell them to trust God because he is trustworthy, and tell the kids to have courage because God will provide for them "all things through Christ", then I must also live like I believe it's true.
Because it just is.
Have you missed the point? What ideas about God and His love for you have you overthought? Or underthought?