Captain Alan Bean was the fourth man to step onto the moon. As an astronaut he was trained in problem solving and how to stay cool-headed in challenging, unfamiliar situations. Here’s something he said about an experience he had on Apollo 12.
Test pilots have a litmus test for evaluating problems. When something goes wrong, they ask, "Is this thing still flying?" If the answer is yes, then there's no immediate danger, no need to overreact. When Apollo 12 took off, the spacecraft was hit by lightning. The entire console began to glow with orange and red trouble lights. There was a temptation to "Do Something!" But the pilots asked themselves, "Is this thing still flying in the right direction?" The answer was yes--it was headed for the moon.
They let the lights glow as they addressed the individual problems, and watched orange and red lights blink out, one by one. That's something to think about in any pressure situation. If your thing is still flying, think first, and then act.
So where do we start to address thinking problems? Do we assume the worst and spiral into a crash? Or do we check to see if we’re still airborne first? With thinking problems, the Bible has much to say about maintaining ourselves.
What’s the problem with worry and anxiety? We all have it, but we may not realize the spiritual implications of what we imagine will happen. Imagination is a normal function of the mind. It gives us the ability to understand concepts, create and plan ahead. But imagination centred in false ideals can lead us to wrong conclusions.
An acorn to the head convinced Chicken Little that the sky was falling. And, so the idea spread and creatures ran with it.
When our minds are disconnected from the Creator, we lack God’s direction in our thoughts. The faith journey re-connects us to the Mind of the Almighty. Paul encouraged the followers of Jesus to evaluate their thoughts in light of the message of Jesus.
When God’s Law forbid people from worshipping false images, it embodied the idea that something from the world could be falsely ascribed the power that belongs to God. Idol worshippers succumbed to false ideas, thus the image led way to imagination.
You can learn to direct your thoughts toward God instead of being controlled by your imagination or by mindsets that are contrary to the character of God.
Christ’s followers are to grow in their understanding of who they are. The world may have given false identities and skewed understandings of what a man or woman is supposed to be. Both significant and insignificant relationships suggest ways that you are better or less than others. Our journey is to get an accurate understanding of who we are in Christ and live in that reality, not the imagined vision of a lesser being.
Your mind is on a mission from God—let’s bring the Shalom home.