Thinking Differently

Too often we have negative thoughts…

Earth from MoonOur thinking processes seem to consider the negative before the positive. Our tendency is to look one certain way before checking out all the other options. Meaning, when we think negative, we think it first long before we think positive. When we are looking down, we should consider up as a direction. Left, well, there’s always right. Forward, instead of looking backward. Inside, before looking outside at others.

I realize we are often trapped into our response and viewpoint because of who we are. But what would it be like if we paused and considered all words and options before speaking, or acting.

Having grown up during the early 60’s, and specifically near NASA (Johnson Space Center), I was schooled with the images of rockets, astronauts, engineers, scientist – all who overcame every objection and negative thinking to finally land men on the moon! You can listen to his speech here, but essentially JFK stated in March 1961 that he wanted to see us have men on the moon before the decade was out!

What a forward thinking speech it was! He was thinking outside of the box that most allowed themselves to be trapped in. Look past the negatives, and find answers! Little did he know that he would not live to see the result.

When I was in the 8th grade, my science teacher was Mr Doolittle. While we were studying about the smallest things among us, those things we cannot see with our naked eyes – Atoms, Electrons, Protons. You know, the building blocks of everything that exists. As he described the universe that exists within every atom, I could not help but compare the atom to the universe we are living in. At the center is a mass. Circling it are the electrons and protons, much like the planets that surround the sun. Between the sun and planets, electrons and protons, is space.

So, he had us experiment. Cut out the side of a box. Climb onto the roof of your house at night. Lay down with your head in the box and gaze at the stars. Let your imagination run. Record your thoughts and report back to class.

Humor me for a moment… Many times we are challenged to think “outside” of the box, but here he wants us to think “inside” of the box, but consider all of creations outside of the box we had put ourselves into!

I remember thinking about the immensity of space. Imagining how far it was to the stars that were sending light our way and how long did it take for that light to reach me. This experiment set the stage for me to enjoy the wonder of it all. Though I do not require answers, it is enjoyable asking the question – where am I in the midst of all of this?

I am always looking around me. Considering the objects that I see. Thinking about their existence, where they came from, where they are going. Always looking. Always thinking and considering the directions – up and down, left and right, front and back, in and out.

This is the wonder of the world we live in today. Where are we going? What’s around the next corner? What will my next step cause me to experience?

Then I ask the question – where did we come from? Where are we going? Scary questions. But I do enjoy the wonder of it all.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?
(Psalms 8:3-4 NKJV)

Here’s my thought. When asked to observe, or to consider something new, think hard about what answer you have to give. Look beyond what your typical answer, or response, may be. Pause. Think. Consider. Then amaze yourself with a new answer…