Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wanted: A Pure Mind



Why, God? Why the senseless tragedy? 
Help us, send us angels of protection!

In the wake of senseless violence (Vegas) and the death of a man who championed lust and using women (Hefner), I think what is needed in our culture today is a pure mind. And of course we need men and women of pure minds, who scorn lust and all of Satan's empty promises!

I remember when I was a young Mom, I participated in a Bible Study every week. Although many times I wasn't in the mood to go, I was always glad when I did!! One week, one of the Moms ahead of the journey- a bit older than me- opened up about her own life when we were talking about having a servant's heart.  

She said, "One day, my husband and I got into a fight.  I complained all weekend about the kids and him not helping out around the house.  On Monday, I woke up with a headache. I admit, I didn't get much done that day.   My husband got home from work, and he said to me, 'Honey, what did you do all day?'  As he (and I) looked around, the house was still a wreck. There were piles of laundry and smudge marks.  I admitted that I had been out with some friends drinking on Saturday, and Sunday even....! When Monday rolled around, I still had a hangover...  I wasn't up to the task of taking care of our home, because I was too busy partying the weekend away."

Another Mom opened up about her own fight that past weekend. She said, "My husband really likes it when I iron his work clothes!!  One day, he came home from work, and I hadn't done any ironing that day. He got really upset, and he soon was barking at me: 'Why didn't you get my clothes ready for tomorrow?' I burst into tears, upset that I had let him down, but also angry and frustrated. I still had to clean up the dishes from dinner and do my own laundry for the day.  Instead of fighting with him, I promptly went upstairs and I ironed one shirt. I swallowed my pride, and I fought back anger and tears, and I just ironed one shirt."

I'll never forget either of those stories.

I think both of those stories speak volumes... and they are each profound in their own way.  The woman who ironed the shirt still comes up in my memory often, when I think about the need to serve my husband and show him love, rather than fighting or wishing for my own way.

A lot of time, we have so much on our plate, that our agendas feel too full to add "Servant's Heart" to our plate. Just ironing one shirt or washing one dish in the sink can feel like too much, like it will send us over the edge! 

But in a family, as in any community, people rely upon each other. We help each other, learn from each other, and of course, serve each other.

The hardest moments in life are when another person really needs us, but it would be easier to ignore their needs, their pleas, and their cries of the heart.  We have to take a deep breath, and sometimes swallowing our pride is just easier said than done.

On the other hand.... as we consider this, another thought springs into my head this day:

Everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed once in a while.

We should also be quick to extend grace and compassion when someone doesn't offer us a servant's heart.


But most of the time, we have to bite back our anger, or not listen when our flesh wants to run fast. We have to think ahead, and think of others. Rather than partying the weekend away, sometimes having a family means getting more done on the weekend, so that you can really sink into the rhythm of your routine on Monday and get done what you need to do for others. Rather than shopping for more clothes, sometimes being a servant means washing the clothes of those in your family during the time you wanted to go shopping.

In light of recent events...

"It makes no sense," said Paddock's brother.

But if you know anything about the shooter, you know that he was a man with guns, an addiction to gambling, and he stayed up all night frequently, with a father who was a psychopath.

Many celebrities spoke of Hefner in a positive light after his passing.

I can almost hear Paris Hilton saying, "It makes no sense."

Rationalization

Hefner and Paddock have something in common: They are both criminals.

Inside their minds, you are sure to find reasons for crime.

But what we all need to recognize: celebrities, and everyone else, is that there is a difference between someone with an informed conscience and someone who has no conscience. If they do, it is severely misinformed.

Deformity comes in all shapes.  We need to stop celebrating physical perfection and instead look at spiritual examples of beauty, beautiful souls if you will!

It's hard- for not just me, but for everyone... to choose purity and to choose servitude. Because living in a family is hard and making sacrifices is hard. Saying no to your flesh will never come naturally. 

But the sooner you learn to do it right away, the easier it gets, certainly. I tried this recently: just do one act of service for someone else, and see what it does:
takes your mind off yourself
cheers you up
changes your perspective from self-pity to redemption-mindedness!

St. Michael, the archangel defend us in battle against an increasingly violent, impure culture!!!

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