Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On Things Above

Many years ago I realized I was short.  And by that I mean my maximum adult height only reached five feet eight inches.  That’s right.  I was only 5’8” and worst of all I am even shorter now.  Old age I suppose.

That may not sound all that bad to those who are taller, but from late elementary school age on into my adult years it wreaked havoc on my thinking and self-esteem.  It’s likely because of all the taunting and teasing, or maybe even the “I just-can’t-quite-reach-it” moments (not to mention Randy Newman’s song Short People).  Oh and lest I forget all of my tall friends, who by the way were usually very kind regarding our differences (caveat: I have some very dear friends who are short like me).  And yes I know being short is nothing compared to the issues and physical disadvantages many people live with day in and day out.

But my point is this: When we find ourselves devolved of a divine perspective, our view of life becomes tacitly stagnant and toxic and usually without us even knowing it.  We somehow by default hear only the echoes of accusations directed to the underdog or the naked (Genesis 3:11).

In Colossians 3 the Apostle Paul reminds us to set our hearts and minds on things above.  And in doing so our perspective will change and inner peace will come.  And for that promise I am grateful.

But here’s the rub.  I live below.  I’m earth bound.  So if and when I do have one of those “things above” moments, it’s only through divine action on God’s part.  It usually happens when my mind is changed in relation to my earth-bound-ness.  And that problem, most always stems from the fact that I fail in my belief that there is actually anything above.  I tend to fail in my belief that there is more than a simple horizontal perspective to life.

In Deuteronomy 6 we find the basis of the Shema.  A prayer and a command to believe there is only One God and how therein to live for and to love Him.  I love this passage, but even more I love how Jesus fleshed it out in the Gospels.  And the curious thing is He added something to the command and prayer.  Do you know what He added?

He added the component of our mind.  For in loving God with all our being, we must do so fully and firstly with our minds.  And further, do you know that when Jesus first arrived on the scene, to the very end of His ministry here on earth, and even to the churches mentioned in Revelation, He constantly called for us to repent.

Now most of us when we hear the word “repent” tend to mingle it with confession and a gritty will-driven cessation of sinful and destructive behaviors.  But repentance is not confession of sin nor does it originate from our own willpower or grit.  On the contrary, it originates with God speaking truth to the lies bottled up inside us.  And as God speaks truth to the inner most parts of our mind, our minds begin to change, our thinking changes.  And that my friend is the beginning of repentance – a change of thinking, followed then by heartfelt and subsequent outward changes, and never the reverse, contrary to popular belief and teaching.

My inability to see things from above has little to do with the fact that I’m earth bound, but everything to do with a mind that is yet fully repentant.  A mind that has not been transformed or renewed by the truth of God will never experience nor have the ability to be set On Things Above.  And set it must be if I am ever to get over being short, naked, blind, sinful, helpless, hopeless and retched.

So I ask you: Is your mind set On Things Above?  Can you alone by willpower and dogged determination keep your mind On Things Above?

Because I can tell you my mind tends to slip to things below, if it has not been changed by the Spirit of Truth.  For I cannot memorize, attend, partake or genuflect enough to get my mind set On Things Above, but only by the power of the Word of Truth, only by His Spirit of Truth will my mind be set like a flint and become unmovable in its perspective from above.

For if my mind is to remain set On Things Above I must turn it over to the Truth.  I must experience a metamorphosis based upon Truth being infused into memories, thoughts, misinterpreted experiences, and blatant lies and accusations thrown at me from the very beginning and from every direction.

That is the only way I can keep my mind set – On Things Above.

Oh I’ll always be physically shorter than most, but I have overcome and will continue to overcome the lies that tell me being short is somehow bad or inferior or anything else of that nature – all lies.  Because from my heavenly Father’s perspective – I’m just perfect the way He created me and by His grace I’ll continue growing into that perfect son He loves so very much.

On Things Above – I’m slowly but surely getting His perspective.  And you? 

1 comment:

  1. Lowell K Whisler11/20/13, 9:07 AM

    If we all were looking above, as you so succinctly pointed out, it's likely we wouldn't notice the "shortness" of those around us, not to mention our own.