I am having a 'not very Thai moment'.
Firstly, I have come out for lunch on my own - eating 'Khon Diaw' is not a very Thai thing. It's not really my choice either, but since I missed my lift to church (...and church always includes lunch) I thought I'd better go and find something to eat on my own.
Secondly, I am in an air-conditioned cafe, with comfy chairs, trendy lamps and even rugs. I brought my laptop because there is free wi-fi here. I am drinking 'English Breakfast' tea and waiting for my spaghetti to arrive.
I am not having an 'I hate Thailand day' or anything...it's just convenient to get here and it's the kind of place where you can go on your own and not look like a weirdo, which is handy.
I thought this would be a good time to think about the things on my 'thought agenda'. My thought agenda is a mental list of things that I want to think about at some point. The idea is that I will do this by blogging about them.
The problem is that now I have a bit of time to think about them, do you think I can remember what any of the things on my thought-agenda are!!??
My brain is too full of all the Thai characters I have been learning to read and write this week, and of thinking about all the things I need to try and fit into the next week. I feel like I haven't given this blog much attention recently, other than visually...perhaps this is linked to the fact that I haven't been thinking about much lately.
So I have just added this to my (currently empty) thought agenda:
'What things can I think about?'
As I logged that on the thought agenda I realised something. The Bible gives me an instant answer if I want something to think about. It is this:
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8.
If my brain is a bit blank and needing something to chew over, what better place to start?
What is true? - The Bible, everything that it says about God and the world and the way to be saved from our mess and know God. Nothing is more true. (Psalm 119:160)
What is noble? - Jesus' substitutionary death in the place of sinners (i.e. every single person who ever lived/lives/will live, including ME) who have offended God with our rejection of Him and determination to live life our own way more than we will ever fully grasp. This death of the righteous in place of the unrighteous is the most noble act that was ever done. And the fact that I can have a relationship with God as a result of it is completely undeserved. Nothing is more noble. (Titus 3:3-7)
What is right? - Everything that God does or thinks. All his ways are just and right. Nothing is more right (Hosea 14:9)
What is pure? - God and God only. He is the only standard for perfection. Nothing is more pure. (1 Sam 6:19-21)
What is lovely? - The perfect love of God through Jesus Christ. Being in His presence. Nothing is more lovely. (Psalm 84:1)
What is admirable? - Jesus Christ. His wisdom, His knowledge, His divinity, His grace, His sinlessness, all His deeds, supremely His willingness to sacrifice Himself for us. Nothing is more admirable. (Luke 5:26)
What is excellent? - all of God's ways, His character, His revelation. The glorious message of the cross of Christ - the only hope for messed up people like us. Nothing is more excellent. (Titus 3:8)
What is praiseworthy? - Jesus Christ is God. He came into our world to die in the place of all those who have rebelled against God (that is, everyone!), He lived a sinless life and then died on a cross taking on Himself the anger that God rightly has against our sin and rebellion. As a result salvation and eternal life are available to all who trust that Jesus has done this for them and turn from their life of rebellion to new life with God through Jesus. Nothing is more praiseworthy. (Isaiah 25:1)
So I will think over these things. And in prayerfully doing so, I am sure that life will seem more interesting again. I trust that my perspective will be straightened out as I see how everything fits into the framework that God has created for the universe. My spiritual eyes will be opened again to the glorious truths that have been revealed to us in the Bible and how these are all I need. My spiritual appetite will be revived. My longings and affections will start to be directed back towards the one who is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent.