The Thinkers

By Darlene Franklin ~

As a baby boomer, the revolution that rocked America in the 1960s rubbed off on me. Not everyone agreed with what I considered absolute truth, and I wanted to know why.

The answer began in the past. A survey of our great philotophers pointed to the downward spiral.

Israel’s King David asked, “What is man, that [God] is mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4, NIV), but in Ancient Greece, Plato defined man as “a being in search of meaning.” He didn’t mention God in pursuit of his identity.

During the Renaissance, Descartes voiced humanity’s increasing dependance on their own reasoning. “I think; therefore I am.” No wonder in the last century that Friedrich Nietzsche said, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.”

In the Twentieth Century, God raised up warriors to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV) I discovered the writings of Francis Schaeffer, C.S. Lewis, Philip Yancey, and Josh McDowell. They magnified what I already believed by faith.

My son wanted to believe in God, but he didn’t know that he could. He read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and sought answers to his questions. Now he is an apologist himself, eager to share both what he believes and why.

My intellect agrees God is sovereign, but my thought patterns tug me away. The apostle John describes my struggle well: pride in my achievements and possessions, and a craving for physical pleasure and everything I see (I John 2:16 NLT).

Much of what draws me away lies outside of my control. In the nursing home where I live, we have several residents with dementia. With the disease, their speech tends to grow beligerent and offensive. Also, since I share a room, I also have little control over what bombards me day and night. But where I can make a choice, I seek to proactively fill my mind with good things.

I’ve memorized hundreds Bible verses and dive into scripture, writing devotions and poetry. My prayer: “May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour.” (from hymn by Kate Wilkinson)

I also seek the mind of Christ, looking to the interests of others before my own (Philippians 2:3-5). It helps both of us.

I combat sleeplessness by reviewing Bible verses instead of the day’s problems. Occasionally I even create a poem. It doesn’t matter if I remember the lines when I wake up. The process helped me rest.

The more I speak of God’s wonderful deeds on my behalf, the more His blessings come to mind. Praise begets encouragement.

Bottom line? When I set my mind on things of the spirit, I will prove that God is true, even when every man is a liar. And that can help me through the worst of days.