Winterville United Methodist Church

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

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October 4, 2016 “Exercise Your Mind”

As I lay down to sleep I thought of each person and where each had sat on the bus on our trip to and from the North Georgia mountains.  I called each by name and prayed a prayer for each one.

When I awoke this morning I made coffee, sat down at the kitchen table, prepared to drink a cup, and in my hands were two books—my Bible and a book by an author that I know well.  It’s called, Mindful Morning, by David Dillard Wright.

David, my second son, is a Professor of Religion and Philosophy at University of South Carolina, Aiken.  He is concerned about “mindful” approaches to life, about our escaping from the stressors of everyday life even if only a few minutes a day.  He wants us to value and live into the full joy that God intends for each one of us. 

And so I read today a segment called “Exercise Your Mind.”  Exercise is not what you might think—not stretching and straining, not trying to solve a deep-rooted problem in the world or in personal life.  Instead “exercising the mind” insofar as this segment is concerned is about savoring moments, about recalling the beauty in nature experienced at another point in time and about allowing those moments—now past—to refresh and prepare for the day with a different sort of attitude and outlook than might otherwise be possible.

I recalled patches of sunflowers that stretched on in the fields for what seemed FOREVER!  I recalled blue mountains that popped up out of nowhere at the edge of the sky.  I felt the cool breeze as I gazed out at mountain peaks now at my fingertips.  I experienced the rush of the water off the mountain’s edge and marveled at its power and grandeur.  I reveled in the sounds of conversation and of laughter as friends enjoyed each other’s company.

I read Proverbs 3, verses 13-18:

            Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding,

           for her income is better than silver, and her revenue better than gold. 

           She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

          Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.

          Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

         She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;

         those who hold her fast are called happy.

 

I had wrestled with myself about making the trip, gave myself those messages all of us give ourselves from time to time—“Too busy!  Too much to do!  Got to stay in the office and do agenda items!”  But sometimes wisdom teaches us to slow our paths, to feel the breeze, to hear the waterfall, to smell the flowers, to enjoy each other’s company, and at bedtime to pray for those with whom we’ve shared life during the day! 

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