My neighbors and I were talking about mindlefulness today. The practice of slowing down to savor and observe what’s in front of us instead of rushing through the tasks or disasters of the day. For example, picking up a glass with gratitude for the fact that your arms reach out to help you quench your thirst. Awareness of the way that your fingers wrap around to take hold of the glass. Not everyone can do that, you know. Let us be grateful that we are able to do so much. Have you ever slowed down to breathe with awareness? Can you take a deep breath of fresh air? Can you exhale the tension of the day as you sense the rhythm of your breathing? How about the mindlefulness that the person right in front of you would benefit from the encouragement that could easily flow from your lips. Let’s just forget the awkwardness and say it. Then be aware of the reaction and how it makes you both feel. Am I ever mindful of the blessing it is to have neighbors who do Bible Study, life and art night with me? How about a random lettuce leaf shaped like a heart? Do you even look at your food before you devour it? Many years ago I prayed for a neighbor who would be my friend. God brought several women and over time and He has given us each rich mutual blessings. When was the last time you looked at the starry sky and thanked God for His amazing night lights or His abundant answers to really big prayers?
How did Jesus practice mindlefulness?
- Walking along with a needy crowd pressing in on Him, He perceived the power that left Him when a bleeding woman touched His garment and was healed. (Mark 5:30)
- He was aware of His dependence upon the Father as He walked this earth. He said that He could do nothing on His own. He constantly sought the will of God. He knew He had daily work to do. (John 5:30)
- He spoke with tender grace and forgiveness to the woman caught in adultery, who was brought to Him for judgement by the “religious self righteous”. Jesus was mindleful of their hearts and hers. (John 8:1-11)
- He was mindful of the scriptures that were to be fulfilled at His coming. (Luke 4:16-21)
- He was aware of His need to get alone with God and pray. (Mark 6:45-46)
- He was mindful of the need for His disciples to get away from the demands and rest. (Mark 6:31)
- He was mindful that Peter needed to know he was loved, forgiven and freed to continue the ministry that they had started. (John 21:1-17)
There are are so many more examples! What can I learn from these few?
Am I mindful and aware of the needs of the people around me?
Am I mindful of the way that my life impacts the people reaching out to me?
Am I mindful of my weakness compared to what God has to offer? Am I settling for my pitiful human strength rather than asking for His megapower in my life? Am I really aware of my daily dependence on the higher wisdom and abundance of God?
What does my heart look like to the struggling suffering people around me? Do I bring healing and grace to people? Do I care enough to point them to God? Do I just go along with the crowd? Do I slow down enough to tell them where real freedom, belonging, satisfaction and love is found? Do I possess self awareness? Do I perceive how my attitudes and actions speak life or death into people. Lord, help me always to speak life!
How mindfully have I searched out what the Bible really says? Am I thoughtful in applying the scriptures to my every day life and decisions?
Mindlefulness in prayer….that’s a big one for me. Have I slowed down to appreciate the blessings of my day? How’s my heart? Is it humble and grateful for all that I have received, both the easy and the difficult? Paul wrote from a place of hardship and prison telling us to thank God for all things. Lord help me see the good in all things. Lord help me listen to You instead of just asking You to take care of my wish list. How mindful am I of the people around me that I can lift up in prayer? Not just my family, not just my friends but the rude woman that I encountered today or the homeless man that I drove past as he was digging in the dumpster. Lord open my eyes to see who You would have me pray for, help and love.
How well do I listen to my body telling me to slow down, eat right, get some rest and balance?
Do I fully and completely accept the healing, love and grace that Jesus so lavishly gives to me? Do I really know how much He loves me?
Lord, make me ever mindful.
I don’t want to miss a thing.