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Mindfulness at Every Turn. 1 Timothy One and Matthew 12.33-37
(this was from two years ago, but has application to our discussion out of Matthew chapter 12 that our words matter, and they come from someplace—they come from our hearts and minds.) For that reason,
our mindfulness is key.

It was Sunday night, and it had been a long week, and I was tired in every way… simply spent. So I created a restful space ~ lit three pumpkin-scented candles, turned on some piano music, flipped a switch that illuminated white lights around my fireplace mantle and then grabbed the New York Times. An article caught my attention, and I began to read it and have since returned to it thrice. (This Morning Briefing bears its name.)1 Seems folks—especially tech and business people--are paying big bucks to learn to disengage from technology so they can learn to be mentally present . . . so they can relax, unplug and de-stress, and also so they can learn once again to connect with others.

Empowered by what I was reading, I stopped midstream and went upstairs to my 15-year-old son’s room and told him that he needed to turn his phone off for a couple hours while he completed his homework. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. I helped him see that indeed I had not taken leave of my senses by assisting him with the removal of his cellular device, carrying it back downstairs with me. I am embarrassed to report to you that this normally mild-mannered tenth-grade son of mine became a boor who pestered me repeatedly to have his phone returned—so great is his glass-screen addiction! (How I handled that is probably irrelevant, just know I did) Because I am immersed in the teen-aged world,2 it is not a surprise to me that young people are addicted to technology, particularly their phones; so, business people have nothing on our youth!

All that to say--it is true, we have a problem, due in large part to the infusion of technology into every area of our lives. It has become increasingly challenging to focus, which can at times cause trouble in thinking clearly. But the answer is not found in what these meditation gurus are espousing, though they are getting rich from the desperation of our fatigue. For instance, Lululemon, designer of workout/yoga wear created a website last month that encourages visitors to turn off their brains for 60 seconds by focusing on a dot.3 A dot! While not harmful, Friends, it is drivel! (Though I love their exercise wear, somebody made a bundle off them, designing that nonsense—maybe that is why their clothing costs so much.)

What does this have to do with Scripture, you may ask? What does it have to do with 1 Timothy chapter One? Right thinking. The main thrust of Paul’s letter to Timothy is to warn him to keep the gospel pure … to keep ‘the main thing the main thing’ … to make sure that false teaching does not adulterate that for which our Lord gave his life … and yes, to guard that errant thinking does not corrupt pure thinking. [Seems Paul and Jesus both taught about mindfulness]

God created our minds, and he cares about our thinking—the substance of our thoughts matter to him. David said, “Lord, you have examined meand know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up.You know my thoughts before I think them.”4

So must we be prisoner to our thoughts? Or are we the determiner of our thoughts? According to Paul, we are to take every thought captive, to make it obedient to Christ5. For goodness sake, where do we start? With the Psalmist I do believe, making his prayer our own ~ “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”6

We can be mindful, we must be mindful at every turn. So often I have prayed at the start of my day that very same prayer: Lord, may my words, may my thoughts be pleasing to you today, my Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen. So much better than focusing on a dot, wouldn’t you agree?

Challenge: Do you need to unplug sometimes? Do you need to be off the grid?
Would it help you guard your thinking, and therefore your speech? Hmmm.

1 – Mindfulness at Every Turn, New York Times, Sunday, November 3, 2013
2 – ‘immersed’ – because I lead Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Students, an active and growing club at San Clemente High School, and have two teen-aged sons
3 –
4 – Psalm 139.1-2
5 – 2 Corinthians 10.5
6 – Psalm 19.14    Like   Comment   Share

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