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his excellent book, Just Like Jesus,
Max Lucado relates an interesting story in Chapter #9 – The Greenhouse of the
Mind – whereby he pokes fun at himself by suggesting that he (Max) plant
nothing but undesirable seeds, like crab grass and burr seeds in his ideal
garden. Sounds preposterous, right? I mean who on earth would plant seeds that
will ruin your garden?
that is exactly what many of us do, figuratively, by inviting (planting) all
sorts of unproductive and ill-advised thoughts in our minds (hearts). Our
hearts are vulnerable and we need to be careful what we allow to enter.
today’s day and age, people are concerned with all sorts of things: the
economy, political stability, even climate change. All of these are valid and
need our attention. The younger generation, well aware that time is valuable,
has come up with strategies that deal with time management. That has progressed
to include other areas, such as health, entertainment, even wealth. Clever
designers have come up with apps that will track every aspect of our lives, to
make things simpler and easier to manage.
so easy to access the latest news programs, podcasts or streaming service such
as Crave, HBO and Netflix, to name just a few. With outside temperatures
plummeting, it’s inviting to grab some munchies, curl up on the couch, and tune
in to the latest program that everyone has been talking about. Sounds good,
doesn’t it? However, it leads me to consider one important element that seems
to have been left out: thought management.
minds are fearfully and wonderfully made. We’re bombarded with all kinds of
messages from all sorts of sources. But this is where it’s prudent to pause and
check on what we’re inviting in. In other words, what sorts of themes and
ideologies will our minds be subjected to? With the advent of streaming
services, it’s easy to get wrapped up with the latest, hottest programs. I’m
thinking of one series in particular: Game
what I’ve heard and seen via brief segments and reviews, all the hype
seems to bear out that it’s a great series, exciting and worth watching.
Reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings
saga, it has a certain mythical appeal, yet upon closer examination it’s filled
with graphic violence, coarse language, nudity, and ‘mature’ themes. So, even
though the drama depicted is captivating and exciting, we need to question what
impact all those messages will eventually have on young, influential minds. One
of the dangers is to become overwhelmed and desensitized by sheer volume of
negative influence so that our minds accept all, without giving it a second
other thoughts are more subtle and come disguised in a variety of cloaks.
the need to share a burden can easily transform itself into something that was never
intended to be shared in a larger context.
being proud of a friend or family member’s achievements is in itself good and welcome,
showing that we care about them. But speaking, even boasting of our own
accomplishments is a little trickier and can easily stroke our ego.
everyone has been blessed with one or more talents, equipping each one to
accomplish much for God’s kingdom. But comparing yourself to others is
dangerous, something that God had not intended, nor does he encourage it. Comparison
leads to dissatisfaction with what we have and heads down the path toward envy.
I think it comes down to remaining humble in
your work and leisure activities, not taking yourself too seriously, and above
all, always ready to give God praise and glory for his blessings. After all, He
is the one who has given us health, the talents and abilities to accomplish so
let’s sow good seeds, and encourage those around us to do likewise.
Robert Stermscheg is a member who writes from Manitoba.