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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Think I Can!

I miss thinking.

No joke. I truly miss thinking. I’m mired in the rat race just like billions of others on the planet and as a result, I rush from one commitment to another then collapse into my bed at night, exhausted. Too tired for any serious thinking.

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect this malady affects us introverted types a great deal more than any others. How can our generation spawn any truly great philosophers when no one has time to think?

Am I a great philosopher? Hardly. But I do get to think – just a little, and I can’t help but think that our hyper-drive society is short-changing itself. I think there is great potential in our generation that will go untapped because we’re in too big a hurry doing ‘stuff’ to slow down and think and explore and create.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how to slow down and drop back several positions to the back of the rat race. I probably could figure out how – if I had time to think.

It was much easier to sit back and ponder as a kid. I’d jump on my horse, Freckles and go for a ride. We’d mosey along. Freckles grabbed leaves from passing bushes to nibble while I leaned back in the saddle, staring up at the sky, pondering clouds, dreams, books, ranches, and life.

When I entered the workforce some years ago, all of that changed. The only true pondering time I’ve had came during a six month period just after 9/11. I’d left my old position without another one lined up, and I had six months to think, rest, and dream before assuming my new position.

If you’ve never taken a sabbatical for just such a purpose, I highly recommend it. If for no other reason, then to feel the excitement at actually being able to get 8 hours of sleep at night!

It will be quite a long time before another 6-month sabbatical opportunity presents itself, but in the meantime I’ve decided to take a mini-sabbatical every quarter. That means taking a long weekend 4 times a year – no contact with friends or family, no church obligations, no nothing but me and my brain to sit back, relax, ponder God and the universe, and think about how I might impact the world around me for good.

There is no greater use for a good think.

I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. – Psalm 143:5 (NLT)

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