I look back over the decades and see how fortunate I was. I grew up in an environment where I was taught to use my head. Simply following directions was never enough; we were supposed to understand the spirit, improve on the process, and maximize the experience. Each nuance required one to see things in fresh, innovative, and unusual ways. Rote execution was never an option.
On the whole this approach made things interesting. For many reasons I rarely use the same route to my destination when driving or riding. Being spontaneous is natural and comes without the usual stress. Free form behavior flows within overall disciplines and tactical intent. Yet not everything is better because of this. There were days where I longed for a repeat of a special dish that my mother has prepared before. I knew from experience that there was little chance of it ever appearing in exactly the same form! Any attempts to create something better comes with its own set of risks!
There are those that passionately believe any spiritual path is achieved and experienced by learning the processes by rote. Instructions from the master must be followed to the nth degree. Insights must be taken exactly as articulated. Frameworks are exact, unchanging, and immovable. Implied is that we do not need to think. At times it is easy to conclude that we could check our brain at the door without a problem!
Nothing could be father from the truth with the God I know. The world is a changing environment with the unexpected more the norm than ever before. People appear then disappear. Characters shift like the wind. In any given situation it is hard to know how to apply one’s values and priorities. Just when one thinks one knows what is going on, everything is different!
So “don’t drop your guard. Use your head.” (Revelation 17.9) Use your intellect! Assess the situation. Apply the thoughts of your heart. Act when you are full of God! Thinking is not optional. In fact, it is a cornerstone of living.