A pair of six-guns with those bright white plastic handles and the holsters with the long tassels, the new Schwin bicycle, or the weight set that I knew would make me big and strong – once I had those things in my mind and on my birthday or Christmas list, it was impossible to “live without them”.
It seems that as an adult, once I set my mind on something, I am just as focused on making it happen, as I was when I was a child. I am amazed sometimes at how I can rationalize my “need” for things. My ability to analyze how important it is that “we” have this or that new toy , go here or there, or do this or that, is pretty dog-gone impressive sometimes.
To be quite candid, I wish I were as focused when it comes to spiritual things. Paul said “…those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5) I don’t always do that. I believe that my heart is there much of the time. I am certain of the hours my physical self is there since my butt is in this chair a lot of that time. However, I am not always certain that I have set my mind in that direction. Similar to other morning, my heart wanted to be here, my butt was in the chair, I just could not set my mind on course.
I understand that Paul is not referring to a daily devotional time, but a way of living — A mindset, not a single exercise of the mind. Nevertheless, the two can be linked and in some sense should be. Each minute spent ‘in this chair” will cultivate a habit. That habit will create a mindset. That mindset in conjunction with that habit will help build a life. So it is important that I learn how to block out distractions, even minor ones – especially minor ones. If I cannot do that, then how can I hope to block out the enemy when he attempts to distract me? Or when “evil lies close at hand” and I must resist?
Focus, setting my mind on the things of the Spirit, which is what will keep me strong and growing in the LORD. Seeing what it is I want and squeezing out those things that conspire to steal my mind, my devotion, my time. Like when I was a boy, that bike I wanted for my birthday — I knew it would be there because I had set my mind on it. 🙂