Special-Tea: Philippians 4:4–9
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. –— Romans 12:2 NLT
I’ve been thinking a lot about my mind lately. Maybe it’s because it’s not as sharp as it used to be. I don’t trust myself to remember anything, so I depend on notes and lists and other written reminders. And I interrupt conversations because if I wait until the person speaking either is done or pauses, I’ll forget what I wanted to say. Or I don’t pay attention to the person speaking because I can’t listen and remember at the same time.
Not only have I been pondering the slowing down of my thought processes as I get older, but I’ve also been contemplating what I feed my mind and what I find my thoughts dwelling on throughout the day. What’s on my mind determines my mood. If I fret about finances, family or the future, my outlook tends to be gloomy. Now, I realize I must be realistic and can’t live with my head in the sand, no matter how much I would prefer to.
It takes effort to think about the good things — and there are good things in every person’s life. But sometimes we’re like Peter walking on the water — one look at those waves crashing around us, and we start to sink. I keep that story in mind, because as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to do the impossible.
For me, it’s keeping my mind fixed on God and His promises. I know the storms are going to come. I know there will be heartache and trials. “In the world you will have trouble,” Jesus said (John 16:33). No ands, ifs, buts, or maybes. We will have trouble.
But just as we can be sure trouble will come, we can know that it cannot defeat us. We can have peace. It’s a matter of the mind — what we feed our minds is what our minds dwell on.
A couple of months ago I decided that, contrary to what I’d come to believe, I can still memorize. I thought I’d lost this remarkable ability. I thought my mind just wasn’t up to the task because I was getting older. I thought my brain was too crowded with everything that’s been stored there for 60-plus years.
But that was just an excuse. I sensed God’s Spirit nudging to memorize Scripture. Better a mind filled with His Word than the world.
So I began with Psalm 91. I worked on it every night as I lay in bed before falling asleep and every morning as soon as I awoke. And throughout the day, especially when I needed a mood booster. Then I worked on Psalm 1. Next on the list: Psalms 42 and 46.
What I feed my mind matters, for the more I fill it with God’s Word, the less room there is for worry, doubt and fear.
So “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy,” (Philippians 4:8,9) I will think about such things, for it is a sure pathway to peace.
As I think in my heart, so I will be (Proverbs 23:7), so let Your Word transform me, God, inside and out. Amen.