Moravian Daily Texts
Watchword for the coming week:
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139: 17
I read a summary of a Stanford Research Institute study that says the human brain is capable of thinking between 90,000 and 115,000 thoughts on any given day, but that since none of us could possibly deal with so much information without blowing a gasket, the human brain is also capable of repressing 30 or 40 or 50, 000 of those thoughts so that we might carry on. On average, then, most people hold 65,000 or so active ideas in their minds in any one 24 hour period. (At least I think that’s what the summary meant. I’m not sure that my brain is capable of comprehending neuroscientific research.)
Of course, the quality of each of those thoughts varies greatly. I’ll bet at least 64,000 of my everyday thoughts are mundane: Where did I put my coffee cup? Should I defrost chicken or hamburger? Where did I see gas was selling for the lowest price? Do empty cereal boxes go in the trashcan or the recycling bin?
A few are worthy. Remember to mail Mom’s birthday card. Remember to pray for Godknowswho about Godknowswhat.
Some are petty: I can’t believe she’s wearing leggings. And those shoes.
Some are sentimental: Awww, I remember when the boys gave me this necklace.
Some are creative: What would happen if I turn that thing upside down and put marbles in it?
Some are worrisome: It’s getting late and the roads are slippery. . .
Some are fun: Go Packers! Beat the Giants!
Once in a while I might have an important thought, and maybe once in a great while I might have a profound thought. It would be fantastic if I could have more change-the-world ideas than perfunctory notions about how to run the microwave or apply hairstyling products. I don’t suppose I’ll ever be able to tip that balance.
But enough about my thoughts. The passage at hand is about God’s thoughts—how numerous they are, and how weighty. But if I am already challenged when it comes to grasping that a standard issue human being like myself might possibly compute 115,000 thoughts per day, then I am as far away from comprehending the sum and substance of God’s thoughts as my tiny little brain is removed from the most recently discovered distant galaxy. (It’s calculated to be 13.2 billion years in the past. Wrap your mind around that!)
What does God think about? How could I be so presumptuous as to even speculate, except for perhaps this one slim concept: Whatever incomprehensible number of thoughts are playing out in the mind of God right now, one of those thoughts is of me. One of those thoughts is of you.
Now that's profound.