A clear mind

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By Tom Wiles | For The Times-Post

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. — II Timothy 4:1-22

As I sat at my table looking out the window, there were all kinds of noise and commotion.

All these birds were swooping in and out of the trees, chasing each other and chirping like there was no tomorrow.

I’m not a big bird watcher by any definition, but this was quite the show.

I was just marveling at how they could safely maneuver at such high speeds when all of a sudden — boom — one of them crashed right into the window.

It lost focus in all of the hullabaloo.

Thankfully, it flew away. Perhaps, a little wiser.

Paul’s last letter to Timothy was his final charge to his younger apprentice.

Paul’s ministry was coming to an end.

Now, Timothy was to pick up the Kingdom message and advance it forward.

Paul was clear. This assignment wasn’t safe. The crowd wasn’t going to be cheering for him. He was in for a fight.

There will be moments when no one will be standing beside him.

And later, Jesus will personally reward him.

He will bring him safely into his heavenly Kingdom. So, run your race as I have run mine.

Paul told Timothy that one of the things he needed to run his race to win was “a clear mind in every situation.”

This world and our enemy work so hard to blur our minds cramming them with one distraction after another.

All attempts to keep our minds clear are fiercely opposed.

Beep, buzz, ring, knock…noise and more noise.

With minds so cluttered, we crash into windows over and over again.

Thankfully, with God’s help, we can get up, silence the noise, and “fully carry out the ministry God has given us.”

Our days

For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows and we are gone– as though we had never been here. But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. — Psalm 103:1-22

In March, on the hillsides surrounding the Sea of Galilee in Israel, the wildflowers are breathtaking.

All kinds of colors burst through the green growing grass waving in the gentle breeze as if directed to do so by creation’s conductor.

We listened as the professor described how Jesus sat among these same fields with crowds hanging on his every word. “… if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.”

David in his 103rd Psalm found himself overwhelmed by multiple wonders.

God forgives.

He heals and redeems.

He crowns us with love and tender mercies.

He gives us all the good things in life.

He renews and we soar like eagles.

He is compassionate and merciful.

He doesn’t treat us as we deserve.

No, instead he casts our sin out of his presence, as far as the east is from the west.

All this and so much more is given to those who like wildflowers are “here today and gone tomorrow.”

Why do we so often find ourselves feeling like we are doing life pushing back against God?

We think “this” and want to do “that,” but God says “this” and “that” are outside of his blessing.

When one drifts away from the humility of the wildflower, one also drifts away from the overwhelming wonder of the wildflower maker.

Our days are fleeting.

Wasting any of them is truly catastrophic.

Jesus calls all wildflowers, “Come, follow me and you will have life and life to the fullest — now and forever.”

Tom Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.

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