I once thought thoughts. You know, deep and meaningful thoughts, thoughts I pondered and wrestled with and deliberated over and contemplated and, well, thought and sometimes wrote about, sometimes not.
“I don’t think stuff anymore,” I told my husband awhile back. He assured me that I did, in fact, think, and think loads of stuff, just maybe it’s the stuff and the kind of thinking that’s changed. Not necessarily less than, just different.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe it’s life here in the middle years with nearly grown children. Maybe my boys finally did rob me of all coherent thought. I suspected they might, from way back when they first entered my life and heart and I was so overwhelmed with love and responsibility that my thoughts merely stammered even then.
Of course sometimes I think perhaps it’s social media–Twitter and Facebook et al–making me dumber. All those people thinking stuff, amazing stuff, and filling my feed with their amazing thoughts expressed in beautiful prose and engaging commentary and, well, it occurs to me maybe they’ve already thought all the thoughts I might think and thus there’s no need for me to ponder or wrestle or contemplate. Where I once foraged for truth and understanding, here it is as easily accessed as the swipe of my thumb on my smart phone. I can just think their thoughts after them. Or not think at all.
Which is a real temptation, to piggyback on or merely observe another’s force of conviction. I remember my early days of blogging, you know, back when I thought thoughts, and part of the joy of the medium then was the sheer freedom of thoughtful expression. We all thought and wrote and commented and engaged. I miss those days of blogging but I think I miss the thinking the most. Like many of the young mommy bloggers of today, I had pat answers and firm convictions about almost anything and I liked to tell you about it.
My husband is correct; it’s not that I don’t think. It’s that the thinking is different, now weighted with the extra baggage of doubt. Not that I doubt what I believe so much, I do not. Rather, it’s the sort of doubt that wonders over the journey and questions the objective. This is who I am? Where do we go from here? Who will I be?
These are the questions of the middle years, I think, questions of identity and regret and vocation and transition, and, if truth be told, they do not lend themselves to a blog post full of cheery certainty.
I once thought thoughts of fierce and confident opinion and sometimes I miss that. I miss writing them out as part of our ongoing faith conversation here in this space. Though I find myself in a different stage of life with different struggles–and there are joys too, let’s not forget that–I do know this: my hope is secure in Christ. As murky as life may seem today, I need not despair. I know whom I have believed and, glory to God, He is able.