A few months ago I wrote to about 1500 graduates of the leadership training courses that I’m involved with. I included the results of a survey recording the locations where people do their best thinking. Best thinking can be defined as most productive or even most creative. Heaps of those graduates responded that they identified with the survey results.
#1 most popular location is in the toilet.
# 2 location is in the shower or bath.
# 3 is while driving or doing crafts / hobbies (while occupying our bodies manually)
# 4 just before falling asleep.
# 5 during a boring meeting, lecture or sermon!
# 6 while reading. (it is important to read a wide variety of subjects.)
# 7 during exercise or on a long walk/jog.
# 8 while asleep. (keep a paper and pencil handy!)
On a separate, but closely linked subject, I’ve been contemplating the role of spirit on what our soul and body does. We talk theologically about having a spirit, soul and body but I’ve found very little teaching that clarifies the relationships between them. Most people live in the realm of mind and body, or mental and physical. It’s pretty easy to fill time with entertainment, and desires with activities. But we starve our spirit. We deprive our spirit of the control and fulfillment that it rightfully should have over our soul and body. Life is filled with the chattering of our soul and it’s searching for fulfillment, through keeping the body busy. We neglect our spirit which has a deep desire for contemplative times and ultimately communication from God’s Spirit. It’s necessary to regularly step back from busy busyness and download the things that God’s Spirit is attempting to communicate through our spirit to our soul and body. That brings a renewal and restoration that is refreshing.
The situation that has prodded me to reflect on this subject is the flood of verses in Scripture that refer to ‘night watches’. It seems that our spirit does not rest during sleep, like our soul and body does. And it is during resting times that God’s Spirit could be released to relate to our spirit. Do you ever wake up at night with a ‘bright idea’? And then wake up in the morning forgetting it because your soul and body rushed in with their priorities? Do you ‘day-dream’?
The results of the survey above make sense. What is the common denominator of each of those eight items? It came jumping off the page at me! It’s when soul and body are either resting or doing routine activities. Now the ‘night watch’ verses come to life for me. Research indicates that reflective thinking is affected first: by location and secondly: by what we do there. Solitude is important. If you can determine where your best thinking happens, you can schedule more time there and organize that time more effectively. Your spirit will take on the role it was designed to have.
Have you any thoughts on this? I’m looking for input.
May you be blessed with experiencing His presence in the night watches as your spirit is open to His Spirit, so He can minister to your spirit. … john (Psalm 63:6-8; 119:55,148)
(original post Oct 12, 2014)