“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” “We have the mind of Christ.” “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” “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.” Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Phil 2:5; 4:8
There was high aviary traffic this morning. Two small birds flirted and flitted in playful loops, cut through by an egret, headed, straight as its long neck, determinedly south. A dozen regal pelicans gracefully muscled their vee in the opposite direction up the cove, while a pair of noisy black birds darted beneath a swarm of swallows, across the busy thoroughfare. Each had its own agenda, each a reason, a destination, and together they made for a glorious display of variety, movement, and harmony.
So it can be with mental traffic. Focused planning can be distracted by flirts of desires, thoughtful determination interrupted by the noise of the urgent, sober contemplation punctuated by a jarring alert or a gasp of beauty. Life seldom presents one issue at a time, but as the Spirit renews and directs our thinking, He reminds us of what is true, pulls in flits of experience and tested knowledge, and steers us in His right direction. Our minds are an amazing gift from God, able to integrate ingredients of our experience and understanding, and intended to be exercised with discipline, zealous vigor, and lofty intent to discern and promote His will. (John 14:26; 16:13; Colossians 3:2)
It is unwise to make big decisions in times of great emotion or stress, whether grief, anger, or exhilaration. It is also usually prudent to settle into a transition before determining significant needs or desired changes. Surrendering our minds to the Lord each day opens them for His washing and leading. Through worship that focuses on Him, and Scripture-led prayer, we can set our mind fully on God’s grace and ‘gird up the loins of our mind for action.’ (1 Peter 1:13)
What sets the course of our thinking each day? Do we guard and take time, first thing, to praise and thank God, to soak in His character as our lens, His true word as our sustenance and instruction, before absorbing the world’s fare of news, opinion, must-dos, and selected morsels of inspiration? With all on our plate and all that goes on in the world, are we giving up or in to chaos, or submitting to God as our mental traffic controller?
“Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.” ~attributed to Dallán Forgaill (530-598)
Wise Father, please arm me with Your way of thinking. Make me self-controlled, sober-minded, and intent always and gratefully on Your will. (Philippians 2:5; 1 Peter 4:1-2,7)