This is a phrase that is often in my mind. It came to live in my brain when I was ready Richard’s Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. There is a chapter on Study, with a discussion of what we put into our minds is essential to our mental and physical health, as well as our spiritual growth. In the book of Romans, Paul begins Chapter 12 this way.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.
This has been my goal for many years now. I try to place my thought processes before God and reflect on whether they are of God or even worthy of God. It was truly the way I stop worrying about my life (besides making myself say Philippians 4:6 -6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. over and over again in my head) The question that I asked myself was whether or not I trusted God with my life? – the answer was yes. Then the question is, does God have the power to transform my life if I open myself to God? – well, God did that whole resurrection thing with Jesus, so it seems that even death is not a barrier to God – so that would be a yes? Then if I trust God and believe that my life can be changed, then what was there to worry about???
I also know that my emotions are informed more by what I think and then the other way around. I am sad because I am thinking sad thoughts. I am not forced to think sad thoughts, so I could choose some other pattern of thought (with God’s help). Imagine what a better day you could have if you decided just to think about God, and positive things and about how you could make other’s lives better and learn a Bible verse. You can have a joyous day.
So here’s the story. I went into CVS to make some photos from my niece’s wedding. When I was printing them from the machine I noticed that there were already stacks of photos in the slots. I fact, I had to pick my photos of the other. So, I put those photos on top of the printer. When I went to pay for my order I told the clerk what I had done. In a stressed out voice and rush of words she said she had just been too busy to take care of it. So I gave her my credit card and it was denied. I said it happened yesterday and I guess I would have to call the number and figure out what was wrong. She said, again in the stressed out voice, “Aren’t you worried, something wrong with your card, you should be more upset. . . I would be really upset.” In my calm voice I said, “I’ll probably figure it out sooner or later, probably it will be alright, but worrying about it will not change the reality.” Of course, she just looked at me like I was crazy. I told her I would pray that she had a calmer day. and finally I said, “relax and enjoy the moment, this is the only time you will get to have this one.” There was more weird looks at me as I left.
If you are wondering, I did call the credit card people and found out there had been suspicious charging on my card. Apparently, someone in California was changing Pizza and Beer to my card and I wasn’t even invited! It’s all worked out and they are sending me a new card. No worries.
I will leave you with The Message’s version of the first few verses of Romans 12
1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Go for it and have a joyous day. It truly is your choice.