"O the Thinks You can Think" by Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite story partly because I was a dreamer as a kid and here is a story that encouraged you to think about imaginative and creative thinks. "O the thinks that you can think if only you try...if you think you can think up..." When I took my first philosophy course at Loyola in Chicago the professor asked us if we had ever look up at the stars at night and wonder what was up there. "Think! Think and wonder. Wonder and think. How much water can fifty-five elephants drink? " It was exciting for me a kid, who was living in the middle of farm country who didn't fit with the culture and wanted to learn anything and everything, to land in place where the words I first heard were encouraging about what I had always done, to think and wonder.
The question in the scripture this week from 2 Samuel 7 is what to do when the thinks you are thinking, the dreams you are dreaming are not the dreams that God have you. King David is finally king over the north and south and the tribes have been brought together. "After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him" vs. 1. David was in a time of peace, He finally had time to stop, relax, and think. In that time of prosperity and peace, he looks around and sees that he has this great palace and God is living in a tent. Shouldn't God have a grand church, a magnificent temple with all the best the kingdom can afford. Well God tells David no. I do not want a temple now, I promise you that I will be with your family forever and your family will rule my people. A temple will be built but not by you.
Have you ever been at a point like that in you life? Have you had a dream of who you would marry? Have you had a dream of a perfect job? Have you dreamed of the ministry that God is calling you to? When I was in seminary my dream for ministry to to start an environmental center where people could come to experience God and learn how to care for creation while also traveling around the world with my people leading great revivals with preaching on creation care and protection and having the band rocking with me. But God had a different dream for me. God sent me a message saying I was being called to welcome the outsiders, to help people choose God and choose the light. My dream was not God's dream for me at that moment.
David's response to this no is an inspiration to all of us. David on receiving this no sits down and begins to pray. He begin by saying Who am I that you would choose me and my family for your work. Thank you for what you have done for me and my people. Thank you for the promise you have made to us. And David praises God. When faced with a no we don't necessarily start with prayer especially a prayer of praise. I know I would want to yell at God and ask why not. Why can't my dream come true? But that is where David's prayer helps to give us a model. We begin by asking who we are in relationship to God. We then remember and give thanks for what God had done in our lives so that we can move into a state of gratitude.
All week as I worked on this I could help but sing "Who am I" by Casting Crowns. "You ask me who I am. I am yours."