What does it mean…to be thoughtful?

Have you ever spoken with someone who just doesn’t think?  Have you ever watched someone who just wasn’t thinking about what they were doing?  It is a very strange phenomenon because it cannot be that people actually aren’t thinking.  Especially given what the Bible says in places like the Gospel of Mark, chapter 7, verses 14-23.  Clearly we are always thinking.

Still, I interact with people who are often best described as non-thinking people.  I suppose to be clear their thinking just lacks.  It is not always clear what it lacks, but people’s difficulties (my own difficulties) come because thinking lacks.  Let’s establish some “thoughtless categories.”

Maybe it lacked depth -and I missed the obvious (or almost obvious).

Maybe it was lazy – and I was thoughtless about a significant event in someone’s life.

Maybe it was weak and wimpy – life is hard and all I could think about was its hardness.

Maybe it was wrongly founded – and I advised someone to do something wrong.

Maybe it was poorly motivated – and I did or said something that was clearly selfish.

What does it mean to be thoughtful?  Maybe you wonder what is the point of asking the question?  (See, your thinking lacks.)  Let’s take an easy one: Mother’s Day.  Do you know when it is?  (Hint: it’s quickly approaching.)  All of you have mothers – what does it mean to be thoughtful about Mother’s Day?

1. The Bible tells us to honor our parents.  You can’t just do nothing.

Thoughtless category: lazy.

2. You can’t just focus on the ways that you wish your Mom did it differently.  Why would you focus on that, anyway?  So that you don’t make the same “mistakes”?  Maybe.  Maybe you want to think about how she should’ve done it differently so that you can talk yourself out of honoring her.

Thoughtless category: poorly motivated.

3.  Don’t wish your Mom a happy Mother’s Day because you think she can’t live without you.

Thoughtless category: lacking depth (gimme a break)

4.  If your Mom’s life is hard and you don’t wish her a happy Mother’s Day because you think you’re doing her a favor (maybe you’re the reason her life is hard), that’s stupid.

Thoughtless category: wrongly founded.

5.  You don’t honor her because your life is hard.  It could be hard – life is hard – but your isolation from your Mom won’t make your life easier.

Thoughtless category: weak and wimpy.

What to do, then?

Call her (don’t Facebook her, Tweet her, email her or text her) – CALL.

Thank her

Wish her a happy Mother’s Day

Pray for her

Send her flowers (if you can afford it); pick some flowers from somebody’s yard or the roadside (if you can’t); you should probably ask your neighbor, first.  If he says, “no”, categorize his thoughtless behavior: poorly motivated.

Tell her you’re sorry for making her life hard (if that’s true)

There are some mothers out there who likely make these things hard for you to do.  I’m sorry about that; it happens.  I come back to only one thing and ask you to press on: the Bible tells us to honor our parents.  It doesn’t tell us to do so when they’ve met some criteria that we establish; just to do it.  So, do it.