Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 27, 2013

Think Outside

For the past few years, my friend Brian Stone and I have shared a friendship in which we regularly challenge one another to think deeply in order to live wisely. I appreciate the moments Brian and I spend together because he really does think deeply about things and challenges me to do the same. Brian has a very good theological head on his shoulders and a heart that is committed to making wise application of what God is teaching him.

A few years ago I read a post by John Piper in which he encouraged pastors to blog. In that post, he wrote: “If you strive to write well, you will at the same time be striving to think well.” I can attest to the truth of that statement. Among other things, blogging has helped me to think intentionally, to think deeply, and to think well on a daily basis. Writing regular blog posts holds me accountable for being an active rather than a passive thinker.

Running Cottonseed Rapids on the San Marcos River.

In recent years I have re-engaged with the outdoors — something I enjoyed as a kid and as a younger man. It all started when my son Jonathan got me to do some kayaking and camping with him and later the grueling Texas Water Safari ultra-marathon canoe race. This year I added hiking and most recently mountain biking to my regimen of outdoor activities. And I couldn’t be happier.

Omat Tree
In the process of enjoying the outdoors, I have rediscovered how being outside helps me to think more clearly. For me, at least, being in the great outdoors is like getting a soothing brain massage. Maybe it’s the fresh air or the sound of the wind as I hike down a lonely trail. Whatever it is, I like it because it refreshes my mind, calms my heart, and relieves whatever stress I happen to be experiencing.

Spanish Moss
As this year comes to an end and we prepare to welcome the new year, I want to challenge you to think outside. Take advantage of whatever opportunities you have to get outside your home or office, even if only for a few hours. I agree with John Muir, the great naturalist and conservationist, who said, “Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.”

Think Outside

So, make “thinking outside” one of your resolutions for the new year. Being outdoors will force you to slow down, cause you to take deeper breaths, and engage all of your senses in dynamic ways. You don’t have to travel far to think outside, you just have to go outside. Whether you take a walk around your neighborhood or hike or ride down a wooded trail at a nearby state park, make it a point to spend some time outdoors in the new year. And while you are at it, invite a family member or friends to join you.
BBSP Dec Ride


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