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Shaping Our Thoughts

Shaping Our Thoughts (Audio)

I’m not sure why my mind keeps returning to the trough of thinking about our thoughts, but I emailed myself a thought while away from my computer so I could think it through this morning.

Some years back our son was doing pottery in an art class back in his high school years. Anchorage, Alaska. He produced a bust of someone he thought may look like Sean Connery, but I always thought of it as the Apostle Paul. I don’t know why. But I call it “Paul”… I think the focus of the subject was to create a pathway through the clay so that you maybe could use it as a water fountain. The mouth is supposed to open into the throat, but my flashlight shows no pathway.

Still, long before he could create this intricately sculpted bust he spent much time with smaller clay objects, learning how to work with clay, shaping figures and other objects.  I don’t have any samples of them, but you know that quality work does not happen the first time you try something. You begin small and grow better.

Side Note: Somewhere in my “stuff” I have an angel I made in grade school that I have to tell you is an angel because it looks nothing like what an angel may look like. I was content with this crude figurine even though other students models were way better than mine. 

Big products do not come by accident, nor do big thoughts. They all come from a foundation of ideas and exercises that end up producing some major premise, and finally a huge result. It’s like Edison saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Later he describes that “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

This makes me think of Geometry with all the theorems and other jargon we learned in my 10th-grade class.

In a mathematical paper, the term theorem is often reserved for the most important results. Corollary — a result in which the (usually short) proof relies heavily on a given theorem (we often say that “this is a corollary of Theorem A”). Axiom/Postulate — a statement that is assumed to be true without proof.

Someone spent a great deal of time with shapes, measurements, thoughts, and exercises to create the language of mathematical thoughts long before I became bored in class listening to our teacher try and explain the ideas in the book.

Philosophers, thought producers of bygone eras, spent a lot of time thinking things through, sharpening their ideas with colleagues and opposers, long before they developed the Corollary of thought that makes for wise statements we accept as Axioms.

When shaping out a fresh thought be sure and think it through to the end! This often means considering viewpoints not found in your wheelhouse, or asking for insight from someone who is far removed from your connection, or doing deep research for alternative ideas. Spreading the shape of your search often reveals how connected ideas are between disciplines.

Your narrative may change although the facts remain the same.

Here’s my thought this morning. Our views do change with the passage of time. Don’t paint yourself into a corner because you never saw it coming. As you mature you are able to see life from another angle…age!

I remember thinking how useless it would be to have a WIFI signal at home because the only computer that needed the internet was anchored next to the modem… Go figure! Now I wish WIFI was everywhere so I could stay connected to the world around me!

Never get trapped into saying, “I’d never do that!”  Friends will point out all kinds of examples of those who thought the same way! You may be proven wrong! Imagine a cheating spouse saying, “I never thought it would go this far!”

The Apostle Peter was one of the inner circle of disciples that Jesus kept close to him. Peter, James, and John were all part of this special circle. At the ending of the Last Supper, the Passover, in the evening, Jesus spoke of some that would be offended by him by what happened when the act of betrayal would take place.

Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. (Matthew 26:33 KJV)

Oh, Peter. Watch what you say! Jesus tells him that even Peter will deny he even knows who Jesus is before the night has passed. Not just once, but three times! No! Not me! And all the disciples agreed with the words of Peter. (Matthew 26:34-35) Little did they know that before the night was over they would all flee from the arresting officers, hide in the shadows, and fear the authorities. Peter will attempt to get close, but he does deny his connection to Jesus. Three times. Just like Jesus said. (Matthew 26:69-75)

Sometimes our thoughts come from our default position and emotion. We think we know our mind, heart, and stance on issues, but when it gets tough to stand up to the onslaught, we shrink from our strong stance and flee into the night. Ashamed of our inadequacies.

You may have some axioms that are facts assumed to be true without question, but reality says all things are called into question at one time or another. How you shape your thoughts into belief and action often says a lot about the type of person you are. My question this morning? What have you done lately to shape your thoughts into a lifestyle that will stand the test of time? Just thinking out loud.

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