Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Best Minds

…I’d say you’ll do best by
filling your minds and
meditating on things true,
noble, reputable…gracious—
the best, not the worst…

Philippians 4:8 (The Message)

There once was a church lady who gave her “all” to her congregation. She sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, embraced her role on the elder board, never missed a church social and always was first on the prayer chain. To a casual observer it appeared as though the congregation couldn’t possibly do without her “all.” Her fellow Christians certainly appreciated her ability to get things done. However, they discovered that her “all” was tearing holes in the congregational fabric--it came with a negative view on everything.

Most of us fall into one of two categories—we are either a pessimist or an optimist. While standing in line, listen, and you may discover that pessimists outrank. Restaurants to churches to schools are filled with people whose personal vision of things hasn’t been realized. Nothing or no one is able to measure up to their personal standard—whatever that may be!

Filling our minds on the best, not the worst requires that we step outside of our personal vision and take in the God created landscape—it is far more unique, complex and exhilarating!

Why then, is filling our minds with the true, noble and gracious things of life so challenging? The truth is that often we meditate on our ideas, fill our minds with our desires, seeing everything through our custom made eye glasses. Difficult as it may be, the “all” of a Jesus follower should include focused attention on all that is best, avoiding even a glance at the worst.

Creative God, when You
completed each creative season
You saw that it was good.
Change my vision from one
of self focus to filling my
mind with Your created best.
Artwork--The Guardian of Paradise, Franz von Stuck, 1889. http://cgfa.dotsrc.org/stuck/p-stuck3.htm

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