Time to Think; Something to Think Upon

I have noticed something about fellow public transportation users: unless drawn into conversation, they are quiet. They seem to be–thinking!

Remember the Walkman? At the time they debuted my son was a newspaper carrier in his early teens. He sure wanted that handy gadget that would play music into his ears through a small headset. He saved his route money with dreams of having music wherever and whenever he wanted. However, his dad put the brakes on the idea. Since I happen to like quiet places, it was no argument from me of Dad’s decision. No walkman blocking out sound that might endanger a person, and certainly not when walking behind the lawnmower.

The reasoning behind the restriction was that everyone needs time to think. I agree. I agreed back then in the 1980’s and I still agree. Ear buds plugged into iPods do not lend time to unclogging the mind and thinking. Meditation is a lost art.

Music does not help me think; it interrupts my thinking. Before I know it, I am following a rhythm pattern, or melody line, or dreaming up some harmony parts. If I were a professional musician, then I suppose that would be profitable. God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things when the mind is allowed the freedom to “think on these things” Those things listed in Philippians are lovely, of good report, pure, just, true, honest, and virtuous. (Phil.4:8)

Unless I slow down, I don’t think about that list of things, do you? Just this morning I was thinking about . . . and guess what, it was quiet. I caught myself thinking about Jesus in blue jeans, golf shirt, and baseball cap. You might say, “That isn’t very deep.” Maybe not. But I was also thinking about how ordinary Jesus must have looked. When He called to the fishermen from the shore, he looked like anyone else on the shores of Galilee. Taking a second look John said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” Today, Jesus would not stand out in a crowd with a snazzy, expensive business suit. Somehow, though, I don’t think of Him as jiving down the street with ear buds hooked into an iPod. His very demeanor would tell us “Here is a serious, deep thinking man.”

You choose, of course, whether you want to be known as a thinking person or just one of the mainstream, noisy crowd. There is no need to be peculiar; rather, it is a need to be particular. Here’s the list again: true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtuous. Think on those things.

In case you are wondering, yes, my son did get a walkman; no, he did not use it cutting grass. Later, I bought one for myself to use for studying in graduate classwork. 🙂



  1. Glenda

    Yes, I remember the Walkman, but we never owned one. I think our son might have bought himself one at some point, but he never used it when he needed to pay attention to other sounds that could be important. For myself, I do not enjoy having music on all the time. If I am alone, I enjoy my quiet time to think and meditate, and music usually interferes with that process. I do enjoy certain CDs when we’re on a long trip, but it annoys me if the person I’m with tries to talk while I’m listening to the music! I guess my ears don’t multi-task as well as they did when my children were young! Basically, I think we need to keep our ears and minds as uncluttered as possible so that we can hear the call of our Shepherd at all times.

  2. We never got one, but I now have an iPod Shuffle, which I thoroughly enjoy when I’m walking in the park for exercise. I agree with you, Karyl, that we plug too much into our heads these days. Thinking needs peace and quiet. Now, some of my best thinking is done to the background of calm, soothing music–if I don’t fall asleep 🙂

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