One day goes by. The next one comes. Thousands of decisions, small and large, get made. Some have minuscule consequences, others significant. Decisions branch out across the day without so much as a look in the rearview mirror. Not even wide awake, we have first thoughts. Questions really. What day is it? What is on the calendar? What do I need to do first? What is the right thing to do now? Is that coffee I smell?
Better first thoughts. Psalm 11:7 says, “For the Lord is righteous, He loves justice; the upright will see His face.” Jeremiah 23:5 says, ” ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.’ ” Out of the darkness and stillness of a night’s sleep (hopefully), we can emerge into the light of day and start it with an acknowledgement of our Lord and Savior, the Righteous Branch, with His purposes and character soaked in each decision, small and large.
Better first thoughts. By God’s Spirit, one restful sleep state can bleed into another restful awake state. We can assume the restful position of being an “instrument in the hands of the Redeemer” by God’s grace. We can be an overflow of the filling of the fruits of the Spirit raised to materialization. We can be a smaller branch connected to the Righteous Branch. We can find rest that comes from “blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.”
A former colleague of mine once pointed out that Jesus is our best thought. Whenever I heard him offer this perspective to the faculty of a local Christian school, I was reminded of two traditional hymns from my childhood in church – “Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee” and “Be Thou My Vision.” Undoubtedly, Jesus is my best thought, not just a better thought and not a passing thought. The best questions I need to repeat are: This minute whom will I serve? This day how will I reflect my Creator to the world? This week how will I pour out the love and compassion of Christ?
Best first thought. Colossians 1:15-18, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.” I do well to hold on tightly to my “best thought” as the gifts of days unfold.
Best of all. John 1:1-5, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He (Jesus) was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”