Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Pattern of Thinking

There is a story told of a man who many years ago started with his company at the bottom but with determination reached the top. He had unusual abilities and energy and used all of it. Today he is president of his company and he has all the things that go with this position.

Yet, along the way, he left something out, and one of the things he did not achieve was happiness. He was a nervous, tense, worried and a sick man. Finally, one of his physicians suggested that he talk with a minister. The physician wrote out the necessary prescriptions but also an additional one ... the Twenty-third Psalm, five times a day for seven days. Orders were to read it the first thing when he awakened in the morning. Read it carefully, meditatively, and prayerfully. Immediately after breakfast he would do the same thing. Also immediately after lunch, again after dinner, and, finally, the last thing before he went to bed.

It was not to be a quick or hurried reading. He was to think about each phrase, giving his mind time to soak up as much of the meaning as possible. At the end of just one week, his physician promised things would be different for him.

That prescription sounds simple, but really it isn't. The Twenty-third Psalm, I believe, is one of the most powerful pieces of writing in existence, and it can do marvelous things for any person. It can change your lives. If your physician prescribed medicine be taken after each meal or every certain number of hours, I don't believe any right thinking person would take the full day's dose at one time.

Just thinking about the Twenty-third Psalm throughout the day doesn't work. To be most effective, it must be taken exactly as prescribed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "A man is what he thinks about all day long," Marcus Aurelius said, "A man's life is what his thoughts make it." Norman Vincent Peale says, "Change your thoughts and you change your world." The Bible says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).

The Twenty-third Psalm is a pattern of thinking, and when a mind becomes saturated with it, a new way of thinking and a new life are the result. It contains only 118 words. One could memorize it in a short time. In fact, most of us already know it. But its power is not in memorizing the words, but rather in thinking the thoughts.

The power of this Psalm I believe lies in the fact that it represents a positive, hopeful, faith approach to life. We assume it was written by David, the same David who had a black chapter of sin and failure in his life. But he spends no time in useless regret and morbid looking back.

David posses the same spirit that St. Paul expresses: "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark" (Phillippians 3:13), or the spirit of our Lord when He said, "Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more" (John 8:11).

I am not a physician but believe in seven days a new way of thinking can be deeply implanted within your mind that will bring marvelous changes in your way of thinking and put you on a road to a new life.

Just my two cents this morning!

1 comment:

Clarke Cooper said...

Your thoughts are meaningful. This one in particular. So often we just say the words without digesting their true meaning. Thank you for reminding us again of this fact. I enjoy the Psalms and your pointing our the 23rd Psalm as a prescription is appropriate.