Something that has been on my mind as of late is the subject of down time. I’m one of those people that tends to jam pack my schedule and try to maximize time, all the time. It makes life fun and busy but also overwhelming at times. Earlier this week, I had an unusual break during the middle of the week. Part of me thought hmm this is a great opportunity to catch up on paperwork or get some good exercise in. But then the other part of me saw the old, spotted bananas on the counter and thought they would be perfect for some banana bread. I decided to whip up some banana bread with my old bananas but then later questioned myself if that was my best decision.
Have you ever been in a situation that left you feeling like you did something wrong or that nothing you do is good enough? Maybe a situation that left you feeling excluded and wondering how you can fix it? What if I told you that often times situations, other’s behavior towards you, particular outcomes or whatever circumstances may actually have nothing to do with you.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The world we live and grow up in surrounds us and shapes us. It influences our choices, our relationships, our careers, our families and where we find ourselves at certain crossroads and decisions we have to make. When we come to those critical junctions, learning more about why we find ourselves where we are can give us the opportunity, as Paul was explaining to the Christians in Rome, to make better, healthier and holier choices.
You’ve got an inner voice that has a running dialogue about life that can determine if you feel positive or negative.
Called self-talk, this is the inner voice that has opinions about everything, and those opinions can make a big difference in how you view life. You have an average of about 6,000 thoughts a day, most of which you habitually repeat to yourself. In many cases, you learned to think these thoughts from experiences with your primary caregivers in childhood, and have been repeating them from that time. As you can imagine, many of these thoughts no longer serve you.
I know what you may be thinking.. “Mindfulness? Isn’t that practiced in Buddhism?” or “is practicing mindfulness considered a Christian practice?” Before I begin I think its best we define mindfulness and “being mindful”.
Mindfulness is about bringing awareness to what we are doing, thinking and feeling at the moment you are doing, thinking and feeling it. As Christians we so long to stay connected and focused to God and God’s kingdom, but we can agree and recognize that our fears, anxieties, insecurities and the negativity in this world often times interfere with this focus and our ability to stay present.