I hope my words and thoughts please you. Lord, you are my Rock, the one who saves me. (Psalms 19:14 NCV)
“A Mind is a terrible thing to waste” Motto of the United Negro College Fund since 1972.
Here I am propped on three pillows, considering the capacity of the mind, my mind, anyone’s mind. Certainly one quality of being created in the image of God, the ability to think, reason, choose, plan, the mind of human beings most closely mirrors our creator.
And yet, we all know that not all human minds, no make that not one human mind, comes close to the creator’s. We have seen the effects of genetic mutation, injury, disease and neglect on human minds. We have encountered those with genius either personally or through their works. We have been graphically led by the media through the aftermath of acts committed by those with twisted minds. We know that what we fill our minds with matters.
“A Mind is a terrible thing to waste” And yet, sometimes I treat my mind less like a gift from the Creator and more like a garbage dump. I found myself stewing over a Facebook post, that did not concern me and certainly did nothing to make me a better person yesterday. I worried about today when it was still tomorrow. I allowed myself to sink into a brief depression. I read scripture, but did not meditate over it. And when I tried to fall asleep last night, it all came crashing so that I had to wade through it, bag the trash and pray before I could get my mind to rest so I could sleep.
“A Mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I watched the ravages of Alzheimer’s steal my mother-in-law from us over the course of many years. I know that no matter what the disease did to her mind that God still held her in his grasp, but to witness the decline of Dorothy devastated us all. It seemed such a waste of human spirit and I had to keep reminding myself that her spirit and the Holy Spirit still resided within her frail body with or without her mind. It was hard to say good-bye when she died, but I sense as she ascended to heaven her mind, body and spirit were whole and clothed in Christ. For us it had been a LONG good-bye.
“A Mind is a terrible thing to waste” So on this final day of November 2013 I am thankful for my mind and seek to use it to explore all God has for me in each day I have left here on earth. I want to fill it first with Love for God and then Love for others. I want to consider things that matter, not things that shatter. I want a mind with thoughts like God recommended through Saint Paul in his letter to the Philippians:
Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. Do what you learned and received from me, what I told you, and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8, 9 NCV)
I want to be someone whose mind daily gains ground, clears the mine fields of toxic thoughts and memories, a mind more like Christ’s everyday. To have a mind of joy and peace requires a mind active in the things of God. So for as long as God chooses to let my mind work in this world I want to fill it to overflowing with good so that what tumbles out of my mouth, off the tips of my fingers, in my expressions and actions helps others see God.
So if my earthly mind begins to be pockmarked with dementia, my life will have had purpose in the building of the Kingdom of God. Because the motto of the American Negro College Fund stands true for ALL :
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
Jesus answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39 NCV)