Friday, April 28, 2006

A Reminder to Be Mindful of God

"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts.

"Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God" Colossians 3:1-3 (New Living Translation).

You never know when or where God will remind you of an important truth. A chance encounter at a hotel continental breakfast bar reminded me of God’s passion to teach us. It also reminded me of the need to be mindful of Him.

Our family was traveling back to Kingsport when my son and I met a kind retiree from Oklahoma. Coincidentally, she too who was on her way to Kingsport, to visit a daughter and family.

By the way, it is said that a "coincidence" is when God chooses to work anonymously. Lucky for us - yes, that was a joke- He does this often.

Having noticed that she looked Hispanic or Native American and that she had on a shirt saying "Mexico," I asked if she was Mexican or Cherokee. She was in fact first generation Mexican American and she then relayed an interesting life development.

Our new friend told how she used to think in Spanish as well as she could in English. But, in the past few years, she has noticed that skill slipping. At a recent reception, she was able to speak to someone in Spanish. Yet, much to her chagrin, she got stuck in efforts to communicate.

Having no one to speak Spanish to on a regular basis has made it harder to think in Spanish as easily as she used to. What used to be natural to her now takes effort due to lack of practice, less use.

Hmmm . . . With a long drive ahead and being a person prone to parabolize, and apt to allegorize, this got me to thinking about my thinking. (I will not be offended if you need to re read that sentence.) How fluent do I stay in my thinking about God, His word, His truths, His will and ways?

Can I, with Willie Nelson, sing to my sweet Lord, "You were always on my mind?" Being on the road again, I could not outlaw that line of thinking. (Tell me ya saw the puns...)

How consistently do I meditate on Him, His word, mulling Him over? How well do I think biblically? Have my skills and habits of thinking in God’s language – the Bible – stayed strong or have they slipped?

As God’s people, we have a dual citizenship, know a second language – His. We are to love God with all our minds, as well as our hearts, soul and strength. A lack of use of our language of re-birth can lead to one dimensional living and thinking - a life that is too earthy (see Psalm 1).

To my new friend, I say "mucho gusto, mucho gracias mi amiga y Dios Te bendaga." (I hope you are duly impressed, that is half of my Spanish. nd, yes, I had it double checked.)

To my Lord, who has provided cleaner, clearer thoughts for us to think, I say thank you for the reminder. Feel free to keep me mindful to keep you in mind.

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

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