Mental Chatter

“I’ve been thinking….” How many times have I said that to myself or others, without pausing to consider the import of the thought? Much of what constitutes life is conducted in our minds and every meaningful thought is predicated on honesty. There can be no deep reflection, no positive change without intellectual honesty. All other mental activity is smoke and mirrors, void of lasting meaning. Dishonest thought is nothing more than senseless mental chatter. “What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort . . . than being able from time to time to stop that chatter” (Buechner, “Whistling in the Dark”). Unseen, our thought life reflects who we are and determines the people we become. “As a man thinketh …” (Proverbs 23:7); “When I was a child I thought like a child …” (1 Corinthians 13:11). What am I doing to promote the spiritual discipline of rigorous and honest contemplation?

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.

The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”(Isaiah 26:3-4, 7-9, KJV)

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