There are days when; during stressful or troubling times, I allow my mind to wander back to 1964. In those days, my brothers and I would take walks down a lonely and unused road. The road had been abandoned over 50 years and all the asphalt was gone. Weeds grew up around the edges and the rain and sun had done their job, reducing it to a dirty, dusty path. We called it “The Old Lane”.
The old lane was a place we could walk and knew that it was our private domain. I used to slide my shoes in the old tire worn furrows and dust would billow up around me. I pretended I was a train as I slid my shoes imagining that the dust was the smoke from my smokestack. This is what kids did when there were only four channels on television and no such things as computers or video games…they played and used their imaginations. We had hours of fun, going back to the old persimmon tree, playing in fields that Bill Rogers plowed and created our own fun.
The old lane is symbolic to me of a simple, peaceful place where my mind and heart were safe. To this day, I can close my eyes and if I order my mind and heart to be still…I can go there and be safe.
Our minds were meant to be active agents in our earthly life. Not just doing figures and calculations or the busy work of doing our jobs. The mind was made by God to be the mechanism we use to calm our souls. It is all throughout Scripture.
“You will keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 23:3
“ “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
My method of retreating to 1964 may be a temporary escape, but that is not what God wants. What if I were to tell you that in the midst of racial and political division, what you think upon will determine whether you have peace? The Kingdom of God is already within you. The Holy Spirit is here and at work in the earth. So…if the Kingdom is here and the Holy Spirit is here, God is waiting on you to do what ONLY you can do…use your mind to recall the promises of God.
No one can steal Kingdom peace. I don’t care what any politician does, I don’t care what the talking heads say on television…real peace is not dependent upon good news. It is not dependent upon what the Republicans or Democrats are doing. Peace is apart and above the things of earthly existence. It IS otherworldly. It comes when we quiet our minds and STOP letting our minds rule us. That is a tall order.
Our mind wants us to think about everything. In fact, the talking heads are always asking people they interview, “What do you think about what he or she said?” “ What do you think about what he or she did?” Think, think, think… the strategy to get you whipped up into a frothy frenzy and to make you THINK on everything and try to figure things out. News Flash…you won’t be able to do it, but it is the strategy of the enemy of your soul to try to get you to worry about politics, about how dirty the house is, about that person who bugs you at work, about the funny sound your car is making when you drive…THINK, THINK, THINK!!!
How about this. Go quiet in the “think” section. Because your thought are not who you are. Lots of people get upset when I mention Eckhart Tolle. I don’t trust him for my salvation I trust Jesus. But Tolle has tripped over a Scriptural truth and uses it better than most Christians I know. Stillness, (that is to say, the ability to stop your mind from convincing you that it has to rule everything you do) is the key. Jesus said, “BE STILL, and KNOW that I AM GOD”.
Most of us will plan for months for our vacations, we will plan out our days, get out our calendars and plot out our academic schedules, but we won’t spend 30 minutes sitting in a quiet place without the television or music or anything else and just learn to be still before the Lord. THIS IS YOUR SECRET WEAPON AGAINST WORRY, FEAR, INSECURITY and anything else your mind wants to induce you to THINK upon!
Stillness before God can change insecurity about who you are (remember your thoughts are not who you are). It is in quiet stillness that God can place within you a lion-like confidence as you sit, not talking, not jabbering away. Just allowing His presence to infiltrate your spirit brings about wisdom, confidence, awareness and trust.
You and I are not in control of anything. You can’t control the weather, other people, your spouse, your children. You can’t control other drivers on the road or your co-workers attitudes. You have no control over the price of meat, or bread or whether or not they re-name Aunt Jemima pancake syrup. The majority of thoughts that vie for attention in your mind are cunning tools of an enemy that wants to disrupt the communication between you and his arch-enemy, Jesus. He wants you worried, stressed and wishes you would have a heart attack and die. He wants your most creative engine, a Spirit lead mind, to be busy doing other things besides creating peace in you, so that you can take it to the world.
And just so that you know that I don’t THINK I am all holy and special…I will leave you with this holy thought…Satan is a butt hole. Thank you and BE STILL while God destroys His enemies.