1 Kings 4:29-34; Proverbs 2:1-10; 4:5-7; Isaiah 26:3; Romans
Your mind is a muscle. It needs to be stretched to stay
to be prodded and pushed to perform. Let it get idle and
lazy on you,
and that muscle will become a pitiful mass of flab in an
brief period of time.
How can you stretch your mind? What are some good mental
will keep the cobwebs away? I offer three suggestions:
READ. You may be too crippled and too poor to travel---but
covers of a book are ideas and insights that await the joy
discovery. William Tyndale was up in years when he was
Shortly before his martyrdom he wrote to the governor asking
A warmer cap, a candle, a piece of cloth to patch my
leggings. . . .
But above all, I beseech and entreat your clemency to . . .
to have my Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar and Hebrew
Dictionary, that I
may spend time . . . in study.¹
The powers of your perception will be magnified through
wisely. Read widely. Read slowly. Scan. Read history as well
events . . . magazines and periodicals as well as classics
. . biographies and novels as well as the daily news and
Don't have much time? Neither did John Wesley. But his
reading was so severe he made it a part of his schedule---he
mostly on horseback. He rode between fifty and ninety miles
a day with
the book propped up in his saddle . . . and got through
volumes during his lifetime. Knowing that reading attacks
thought, Wesley told many a younger minister either to
out of the ministry.
TALK. Conversation adds the oil needed to keep our mental
running smoothly. The give-and-take involved in rap
question-answer dialogue connected to discussion, provides
wheel needed to keep us keen.
Far too much of our talk is surface jargon . . . shallow,
obvious, pointless. Talk is too valuable to waste. Leave the
of people and weather to the newscasters! Delve into issues,
controversial subjects, things that really matter. Ask and
and "how" . . . rather than "what" and
"when." Probe. Question.
Socrates was considered wise---not because he knew all the
because he knew how to ask the right questions. Few
more stimulating than eyeball-to-eyeball, soul-to-soul talks
us to think and reason through specifics. For the sheer
WRITE. Thoughts disentangle themselves over the lips . . .
the fingertips. How true! The old gray matter increases its
when you put it down on paper. Start a journal. A journal
diary. It's more. A journal doesn't record what you do---it
what you think. It spells out your ideas, your feelings,
struggles, your discoveries, your dreams. In short, it helps
articulate who you are.
Who knows? Your memoirs might make the bestseller list in
And speaking of that, why not try writing an article for
magazine? Editors are on a constant safari for rare species
1. William Tyndale, as quoted in J. Oswald Sanders,
Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 101.
Excerpted from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life,
1983 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved
by arrangement with Zondervan Publishing House.
by Charles R. Swindoll