His legs bent slightly under him, the man leaned forward, elbow on his knee and his chin resting on his hand. Auguste Rodin’s sculpture, “The Thinker,” was part of an 1880 exhibit based on Dante’sThe Divine Comedy. “The Thinker” was to portray Dante himself sitting at the top of the door to hell contemplating the scene below. However, the pose has become synonymous with meditation or contemplation of some internal conflict or struggle.
It might be advantageous for an individual to consider the misery and torment of hell, particularly if the result was a determination not to enter its gates. But, just taking note of that tortuous scene will not prevent it becoming man’s final destination. A more beneficial contemplation is the internal conflict and struggle that takes place inside one’s heart due to the sinful nature inherited from our original parents, Adam and Eve.
Thinking can be a healthy process because our thoughts produce actions and our actions denote the person we have become, providing a catalyst for change. Since man began his long march toward infinity, the need for change has been apparent. Driven from the dwelling place provided by his Maker, man has been on an endless search for purpose and meaning, encompassing a quest for happiness and contentment. But there is a problem—sin and the separation it has caused between man and his Creator. It is this great gulf dividing God and man that we are to think on, to consider. Some way we must manage to reach across, to get to the other side, but what can man do?
What can man do? Absolutely nothing! God has already done what is required. Before God spoke the heavens and the earth into being, the thought of man and his need for redemption were uppermost in God’s mind. God had created man, in His image, for the sole purpose of fellowship, for companionship. Man would be unique, superior to the animal and plant life. He would reason; he would think; he would make decisions; he would have freedom of choice. And in that freedom, man fell. Thereafter followed God’s plan to redeem man back to Himself. And that plan embodied the incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus. Only the infinite mind, only the infinite thought processes of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Creator could conceive the remedy for sin without violating His holy and righteous character.
God did not meditate on the internal struggle caused by sin within His own heart. He focused His thoughts, His mind, upon the inner struggle between man and his sinful nature, and produced a way for man to become reconciled to his Creator-God. You might say He was the original Thinker.