I think on what is true and just and honourable
I think on what is pure and lovely and admirable
I consider what is excellent and what is praiseworthy
and I praise our God who is unmistakably
the creator of all of these and more -
I think on what is true
I think of God’s voice, his true promise,
his true plumbline, directing the eye down
to the centre, a reliable reference,
an alignment to righteousness.
I see the weight, suspended
and I wait as it finds the true vertical axis
pointing to the centre of gravity
as if that was its true purpose all along
- not to gravitate us down, but to re-direct us
to a true line upon which we can centre ourselves.
I think on what is true.
I think on what is honourable, noble.
I think of honour lists and of inherited nobility,
I think of integrity, living up to the responsibility
of my privilege and authority
and of using it responsibly, with generosity,
recognising opportunities to live
faithful to the One who entrusted me
with so much extraordinary bounty.
I think on what is honourable.
I think on what is just and right
I think about the courage to live fully in the light,
to stand up for what we know to be the right
to admit to ourselves when we don’t get it right
to give heart-felt apology, to find a way to re-unite,
to fight injustice alongside those who can’t
to go the extra mile when our heads say don’t.
Not doing what they’d do to you
if the tables were turned,
but doing what you’d have them do
if the circumstances were reversed
and when the right of it still isn’t clear
to wait and figure it out, take the longer route
rather than the obvious, shorter cut
and if, even then, you can’t be sure
err on the side of the generous cut
because we know that the Cross wasn’t fair
but it was right and it was just.
I think on what is right.
I think on what is pure
I think about the sudden clarity of a cold mountain stream
bubbling up from its spring,
running through and digging down irrespective of obstacles
flowing over all rocky hurdles
with pure, unadulterated intent
to get at last to the sea
where its creator intended it to be.
I think on what is pure.
I think on what is lovely
I think of the surface-beauty that catches my eye
but then of the beauty that only shows itself in the depths
- in patience, in the willingness
to put ill-feeling to rest
and to embrace forgiveness
and thereby release a smile that meets
that generous high-beauty in full gratefulness.
I think on what is lovely.
I think on what is admirable, commendable
and of good reputation, and I think how
how God views me is more important
than the admiration offered by others.
I think that what is commendable
is in the eye of the beholder
and that my beholder sees the heart
and so I entrust my reputation to the One who sees better.
I think on what is admirable.
I think on what is excellent
and I think past Bill and Ted to something
of diamond quality,
of designed symmetry,
of clarity, of weight
or perhaps of a line in a poem or a song,
something that takes away my breath.
But then I see the sun through trees,
shining on breakfasting friends
and on my laughter
and I think that this is God’s most excellent.
I think on what is praiseworthy
I think of the ovation given to a practiced orchestra
and pitch perfect soloists
and then I think
of a five-year-old niece
mastering her first recorder
and getting to that tricky last note of
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
and I think, for our God,
this effort, this success is by far
We think on what is true and just and honourable
we think on what is pure and lovely and admirable
we consider what is excellent and what is praiseworthy
and we praise our God who is unmistakably
the creator of all of these and more -
and I think that perhaps we too
are a little lovely and that we too
are partially admirable
and I think perhaps we too
are not a little praiseworthy
and so when I think on these things,
I think on you,
and I praise our God all the more.
Think on these things.
"...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."