Chapter 154 [day 266]: Wednesday 9 December
STATE OF MIND
Good morning all
One of the words that seems to be cropping up everywhere, especially after 9 months of pandemic is ‘wellbeing’ and the possible solution being found in mindfulness. We are told that resulting from lockdown restrictions, job uncertainty, what we will be allowed to do in celebrating Christmas plus many other factors, there has been a huge rise in the number of people of all ages suffering from mental and emotional problems. And all that coming on top of the feelings of loneliness being suffered by millions across our nation
The need to be recognised and appreciated by others is a fundamental human need and for centuries cults and religions have sought to solve the issue of wellbeing with rituals, techniques, mindset and retraining. The Zen Buddhist practice of mindfulness seeks to train the mind to exclude bad things from the past and the worries of the future and concentrate only on the present.
Our human mind is a complex function of the brain and enables us to remember the past, anticipate the future, deal with the present. We can also retain massive amounts of information which can be recalled years later, and memories can be triggered by things we see or hear. A photo pops up on my phone from 10 or 15 years ago and immediately I can be mentally transported to a certain place or event. This was all part of the amazing design of our minds intended by the Creator.
Problems arise when the mind gets out of tune with how it was intended to function. It’s like a car engine that suddenly starts to splutter and then breaks down completely. What has caused that? Is it a failing component of the engine itself or is there a problem with the fuel?
There’s a similarity with the human mind – sometimes there is physical component failure which we recognise as different forms of the terrible disease dementia, but more commonly, the problem is often contaminated fuel supply. Our bodies are designed to function in a particular way but if we’re putting contaminated fuel in the tank, it won’t work as intended.
Our minds are similar to our stomachs – designed to be filled with good things. When we feel hungry, we want to eat but too often that is junk food rather than wholesome food.
In the same way, when our minds are craving something new, the world can offer instant entertainment and trivialities but they do not satisfy and we still crave more. Pleasurable entertainment doesn’t last; what we need are thoughts and experiences that are good and will fill the empty void.
A verse that we have considered in our recent Discipleship Explored series says Philippians 4:8 - In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honourable.
The Bible also reminds us -
Romans 8:5-6 - Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Romans 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
We certainly don’t want to empty our minds as some religions suggest; empty vessels can fill with all kinds of junk. We need to allow our minds to be filled with the mind of Christ. Hymnalong >>> MAY THE MIND OF CHRIST MY SAVIOUR
Next Sunday morning we will be thinking of the message of the angels that appeared to the shepherds outside Bethlehem, the promise of peace to all (Luke 2:14). If you are intending to join with us at the Chapel, don’t forget to book your place in advance.
The Christmas postbox will again be available once again be in position for you to post cards to other Chapel members. We can also receive single cards to everyone at Chapel. If you can’t get to the Chapel we can arrange to collect from you – just give us a call.
· Jack Jennings is back home after having a stent fitted and hopefully will go back to hospital in the new year to have the stone lasered.
· We heard yesterday that Ann Jordan has passed away in her care home in Wylde Green after suffering from pneumonia. Ann was a regular on Sundays between 2010 and 2016 and to Chapel Coffee Mornings and Holiday at Home weeks. She also came on many of our minibus trips up to 2014 after which her health began to fail.
· Some of you may remember Starla Ellison who came from USA in 2012 with her teenage son as part of a missions team to Falcon Lodge that year organised by Kenny Dubnick. Karen keeps in regular contact with Starla and she and her church have often prayed for specific people and needs at Falcon Lodge in recent years. Starla learned yesterday that her sister Tina (aged 59) has just been diagnosed with a large brain tumour and Starla has asked for us to pray for her.
· Linda Smith has delivered a load of baby clothes and knitted teddies to the Salvation Army women’s rescue home in Erdington which were gratefully received.
· Thanks again to everyone who donated toys to the BCM Toylink appeal last Sunday which were delivered to BCM by Paul yesterday.
More on Sunday