Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Battleground of the Mind

I'm reading a book right now by Angela Hunt called, "Uncharted."  I'm almost done with the book and so far I can't put it down.  I'm hoping the ending is not a disappointment.  It's really causing me to think, question, and be stretched a little more by the Lover of my soul.

The book is about a group of friends who come together after 20 years to mourn one of their group who was killed in a car accident.  The accident happened on the eve of a trip he was to take to some third world country where he was going to help build a school.  This man was a doctor and took these mission trips every year and every year he appealed to his friends to come with him.  None of them ever did.  Until now.  A professor who was responsible for bringing them all together some 20 years before asks them to all go to this island and build the school the dead friend was supposed to have done.  Surprisingly and grudgingly, they all agree to go. 

Their travel plans go awry and they wind up on a boat that shipwrecks.  Here is where the fun begins for the reader.  Each of the friends encounters themselves on this island where they have nowhere to go and seemingly cannot escape from. 

I won't tell you anymore because it would spoil the book for you.  G-d has been speaking to me through this book though and I'd like to share some of my thoughts.

All sin begins in our minds.  Our mind is the command center and every thought originates there.  The mind is where the enemy communicates with us and where G-d communicates with us as well.  Hiding sin in our hearts or minds does not lessen the severity of the sin.  One day we will all stand before the King of all Kings and our thoughts will be judged by the Only One who can judge with perfect righteousness.  Everything will be revealed for all to see and we will be privy to each others hidden thoughts and opinions.  Think about that.  It's a sobering thought and one that causes my heart to constrict in fear. 

That's what this book has put me through this week.  It's forced me on my knees before G-d to consider the things I allow my mind to engage in.  I'm thankful for the chastening though - how else would I change and grow if not for His mercy and grace that flows in abundance to all who would ask for it. 

I judge in my mind; I roll my eyes in my mind and try not to let my irritation and real opinions show on my face.  I may be keeping my real thoughts and opinions from those around me but the One who matters sees all.  I've always said I want to be transparent and allow myself to be open but this awareness shows me that I am no more transparent than anyone else.  What kind of friend am I if I allow myself to judge and hold onto opinions and irritations against those whom I interact with on a daily basis?

Yes - people are going to rub me the wrong way sometimes but is it possible for me to rise above the pettiness of allowing that rub to form a blister of indignation in my heart?  That blister can fester and breed the infection of bitterness which is so destructive to myself and those around me.  It destroys relationships with others and ultimately with our Creator. 

I pray that I can continue to allow G-d to squeeze me in this area and get all of the impurities out of my heart.  I pray that this lesson will stay with me always and cause me to hesitate before allowing my mind to take control of the next thought apart from G-d's influence.

Get this book - it may change your life.

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