“A steady diet of [these] worldly influences will shape our view of what is valuable, what is beautiful, and what is important in life.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss
The these this author is referring to includes television, friends, magazines, movies, and malls.
The older I get, the more I realize just how vital it is to be aware of what I allow into my mind. And even more important, for me, mindful of what I allow to remain there.
I say ‘aware of what I allow’ because while sometimes I can’t help seeing a billboard driving down the interstate, more often than not, it’s my choice.
One of our favorite things to do while cruising this week was standing on the balcony and watching the open water. As far as the eye could see, water sloshing against water, waves crashing at the ship’s edge, open sea changing shape and continually moving.
At one point in the week I thought, my insides feel a little like the ocean sometimes.
Chaotic. Beautiful. Deep. Rushing. Drowning. Raging.
I am passionate (a lovely word for emotional) person. Here I don’t mean cry often. Here I mean deep feeler. Here I mean tend to be driven and ignited by feelings. Here I mean experience life deeply. Here I mean even struggle to not bear the weight of someone else’s burden when it’s not mine to carry.
I once heard someone talking about Jesus, commenting on his fully man-ness yet fully God-ness.
Jesus experienced the complete weight of human emotion without sinning because He never let any emotion separate Him from His Father.
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane…
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:32-36 (emphasis mine)
Soul overwhelmed with the deepest sorrow imaginable, yet processing with Father.
Jesus modeled perfect trust. He modeled real vulnerability in life’s circumstances, yet felt it with(in) his Father’s heart.
This inspires me to believe that my heart, emotional and passionate and messy and flawed as it may be, is important. If I look at Jesus, I see his heart fully feeling, but in the Presence of His Father. And I can do the same! (Wait, what?! Yes.)
“No, it is that we who love our Lord, and we whose affections are set on the things that are heaven for us today, will voluntarily and gladly lay aside things that charm the world, so that we may be charmed and ravished with the things of heaven. Then our whole being may be poured forth in constant and unreserved devotion in serving our Lord, who died to save us.
Therefore, we may bind ourselves to God with the kind of vow that commits us to this: to look upon the world, in all its delights and attractions, suspecting that traps are set there for us, reserving ourselves for a higher way. The world is not for us. We are called to live daily in a higher Kingdom, where we are touched and our souls drink from the Spirit of God.” Amy Carmichael
— photo taken by my husband, long before he was my husband