No. 28 Minding the Mind

The mind. That wonderful thinking, feeling aspect of the immortal human soul. Its gateway, its womb and the power house of the intellect. Our most treasured human possession. With it we discern, we decide and we choose. For better, for worse. Whether and how to act. What we would become.

The mind. Far more than something produced by and lodged within our physical brain. Far more than the sum total of the parts of our body in which it dwells. Rich in its potential. So vital for life now and eternally.

With it we see beyond the visible and the things of matter. With it we can reach out, beyond the tangible and the calculable. Reach for the Creator, the Source of all that was, is and will be.

The mind. God given. Given by Love. Given out of love. Given for love. Given for blessedness beyond our comprehension. Beckoned by God Himself to commune with Him. To carry the hopes and the dreams of humankind, and of God for us.

Our minds. Bearing so wonderful, yet so great a responsibility. But alas, treated by so many with scant regard. Our minds. Vulnerable. Easily distracted, confused, scrambled or sedated by the interests, the noise, the enticements and the busy-ness of today. Often feeding on the junk food of fantasy, misinformation and misdirection, served by those who think they know it all, but who do not. Our minds, sometimes subverted. Even goaded to rebellion against the One Who is our present and eternal destiny. Our minds. Tempted to pride, smallness of heart and self-indulgence. To seek refuge in the emptiness of the ego: in cynicism, braggadocio and shallow wit.

Minds. Restless. Unwilling to listen to the call, and to discover true home in the Heart of Love. Deaf to the voice of the Beloved, Who invites to faith and to life in abundance, through conversion. Not one-off, but ongoing, daily conversion to purity of heart. Honesty of heart. Not deviant, divided, deceptive or pretentious. A humble and sincere heart. A clean heart. A heart that cries for mercy, for grace, for the food from heaven which is Christ the Lord, and seeks the strength that it bestows and the zest that inebriates and transports to renewed life. To beauty, joy and peace; beyond and above the pain and the ache of earthly travail. With trust in the God of love, the Lover, to Whom we say, “Your love is better than life…I will bless You all my life…My soul clings to You; Your right hand holds me fast.” (Psalm 62).

Shepherds of the Lord

“Beware of false prophets who come to you as sheep, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 8:15) Many are the hirelings and false prophets of our today, who care nought for the consequences of their words and example, and who blight the lives of many. Indeed, “Sin speaks to the sinner in the depths of his heart. There is no fear of God before his eyes. He so flatters himself in his mind, that he knows not his guilt. In his mouth are mischief and deceit. All wisdom is gone”(Psalm 36:1 – 4).

Who stands for God?

Those whose lives and words are conformed to the mind and the ways of the Good Shepherd. And who advise, “Do not model yourselves on the behaviour of the world around you, but let your behaviour change, modelled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of God, and know what is good, what it is that God wants, and what the perfect thing to do is” (Romans 12:2).

The minds of youth

Young people. Called to be lamps for the world of tomorrow. With worthy values. Not hollow ones. Values that help to usher in the Kingdom of God, and with priorities that match. Young people, innocent and generous, pressured on all sides. Seduced by false gods. Left unadvised, untrained, and unable to tell the difference between the genuine and the spurious, between right and wrong. Often let down. Even by parents and teachers who go for the easy option. Who shy away from the truth of God, for personal reasons, through fear of criticism, or ignorance. Let down by the strait-jacketing effects of time-tables and the school syllabus. Young people expected to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. To discover and walk the pathways of Christ.

The challenge

How do we keep our minds clean and clear? By putting on Christ. Making Him our goal and our way. Does this not highlight the need for prayer? Continual prayer? And reflection? And to respond generously to the Lord’s call, “Who will bear my life to them? Whom shall I send?”

Prayer

“Here I am Lord. Renew and enlighten me. Give me your grace for I, your child, need you.”