Readings: Exodus 2:11 – 4:17, Psalm 105: 1-26, 45b
There are over-thinkers and under-thinkers and every thinker in between. There are those who rush in and work it out as they go, oblivious to the dangers that surround them and there are those who never go in because they are busy thinking through every possibility and turning every mole hill into a mountain. There are those who are painfully unaware and those who are painfully hesitant. Middle of the road is always the best place to be, but I think it is the over-thinkers and the under-thinkers who help move us forward. The under-thinkers move us forward by force because they rush in and if everyone around them doesn’t follow and scramble to pick up the pieces, it all falls apart. This forward though is often not the forward we wanted to be heading forward into. Over-thinkers move us forward by being ready for the next crisis because they spent so much time thinking through things during the previous crisis that they are ready only when the next similar crisis comes around. Under-thinkers cause things to happen and over-thinkers help us understand why it happened. Under-thinkers create the graph and over-thinkers draw the graph.
I know that in many cases, over-thinking and under-thinking is a natural tendency but I think that for most people, the process of maturity is the process through which we go from one to the other and then to a middle ground. When we are innocent, we just do things because we are not aware of the consequences and as we become more and more aware of the consequences so we begin to over-think things until we get to that point where we realize that there isn’t enough time to worry that much about consequences and we head back towards impulsivity with wisdom. A child will eat chocolate late at night because a child doesn’t know that it will keep them awake and that in turn will keep the adults awake, which means that the adults are grumpy the next day and the children are in trouble for things that they didn’t get into trouble for yesterday. Parents will over-think giving children chocolate late at night because if the children stay awake, they stay awake and everybody is crying tomorrow so it is better not to do that. Grandparents will give the children chocolate to eat late at night because it’s nice to make the children happy while they can and as a bonus feature, they are sending the children home oblivious to the fact that the children are keeping their parents awake and will remind the parents in the morning to be gentle with their children.
Moses impulsively stands up for the children of Israel and kills an Egyptian who is abusing a Hebrew but then discovers that if you can do something bad for a good reason; you can do something bad for a bad reason. By the way they respond to him, the Hebrew people teach him this lesson and by the way the Pharaoh wants to kill him he learns another one. After 40 years God calls Moses to bring the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and Moses wants to over-think it. While he agrees with the concept in theory, he uses any excuse that he can think of why it should not be him who puts the concept into practice. If he goes back, he will have to face his past, his shame, his guilt. God is sending him to free him as much as God is sending him to free the Israelite people. There will come a time in which Moses will know the privilege he had in being a part of the Exodus and he will know that he should have resisted less and trusted God more.
Always think, but be careful of the extremes. Don’t destroy community by being impulsive or extend the agony by over-thinking. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit as God calls you to partner with Him in setting His people (all people) free from whatever their prisons are. This is the greatest privilege and joy you will ever have a share in being a part of. Resist God less and trust God more.