Tuesday evening I started reading a book entitled "Good to Great". It is not the one written by James Collins - though I have read his book some time ago. This one is by Chip Ingram, and the full title is "Good to Great in God's Eyes: 10 Practices Great Christians Have in Common." The first practice he lists is "Thinking Great Thoughts."
However, on Wednesday morning, a little after 6:00 a.m., as I was driving down I-94 in the pouring rain, my thoughts were anything but great. It was dark. It was wet. I felt surrounded by traffic, brake lights and flying water. All I wanted to do was to complete my commute without incident, get into the building, and hope for the sun to come out later in the day. My thoughts became healthier later ... when each of my desires was met as the day unfolded.
But what about those days when our desires are not met? And what about those times we are scared ... or lost ... or hurting real bad? I haven't read the chapter yet, but expect Ingram is going to be talking about dreaming BIG, and not so much about the petty little stuff on my mind today. So I guess I'll go to God's Word and find some "great thoughts for gray days" from him.
I have the feeling many of these words will be quite familiar: "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5.16-18) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3.5-6) "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4.8)
While these are all good words and thoughts, I am seeing a major problem with this list. Each of these verses is Law! They all focus upon things I am to do ... and the truly Great Thoughts are about God and what he does for us in Christ Jesus.
So, my new list has just one passage (with quite a few verses): "God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2.4-9)
This, my friends, is more than just a Great Thought. It is the plain and simple truth! It is true on rainy days and Mondays, and always remains true for those who live in the blessed 'rain' of baptism ... in other words, this thought should never get you down. "Lord," we pray without ceasing, "keep this rainy day thought in our hearts, no matter what the weather."