Shaping Your Thoughts

Shaping Your Thoughts

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

It is a subject that some find unimportant. A subject that can seem tedious. But for the poet, form is essential.

Poems can express everything from grief to love. They can be complex or simple. Long or short. Many feature rhymes; some do not. But, in one way or another, all have form. And this form helps define their shape and impact.

Some forms are clearly recognized. For example, to qualify as a sonnet or haiku, a poem must meet specific requirements. There even are forms that define the shape of poems featured in greeting cards.

Reading the Bible, we may not realize how often its writers used very strict forms. For example, regardless of how we might read Lamentations in modern English, in reality, in the original Hebrew, this is a series of five poems.

The first four chapters all are alphabetic acrostics. This means being organized into stanzas, each beginning with letters of the Hebrew alphabet (which has 22 letters). As a result, chapters one, two, and four have 22 “verses,” while chapter three has 66 verses (three each for each letter).

The fifth chapter also contains 22 verses but is not an acrostic. Our minds and hearts might be drawn to the message. But, in subtle ways, this message is impacted by the form.

The fact is that the Bible is filled with many kinds of forms. Descriptive passages. Narratives filled with stories. Genealogies and laws. Teachings and prophesies. And poems.

In your life, remember that there are many ways to speak to God, and be used by Him. Your heart might overflow freely as you share concerns. But you also have the opportunity to seek to organize thoughts. Giving shape and form to your expressions. Whatever you do, make a commitment to excellence. Giving your best as you seek to serve God.