I step into the kitchen feeling peckish. Surely there is something I can eat as a quick snack.
I head for the pantry. A salty snack would be perfect.
Opening the door, I eye the options: chocolate, breakfast cereals, crackers, chips.
Perhaps a few crackers or a handful of corn chips would do the trick.
I reach for the chip bag.
I pause. I had recently been reminded to try to include fruit and veggies in my snacks.
I ponder my options: apple, orange, carrot.
None of them quite strike my fancy, since salt is on my mind.
I know, a couple of lettuce leaves with a generous sprinkling of salt.
I retrieve the lettuce from the fridge. Rinse a few leaves and add salt.
I’ll have to remember to head for the veggie drawer next time I am on the hunt for a salty snack.
Why do I share this seemingly insignificant moment? Because it holds a reminder I need.
First off, are snacks like crackers, corn chips, or even chocolate bad? Will it harm me to eat them?
No, unless they are all I eat.
If I never include vegetables or fruit in my diet I would not be very healthy. I would be at risk of getting scurvy.
Okay, hopefully I’m doing reasonably well at keeping my physical food intake healthy and balanced, but what about my spiritual diet? Is my spiritual snacking healthy?
Am I including healthy spiritual snacks in my week, or am I starving my walk with Jesus?
Recently I found myself pondering why it can be so hard to have room in my thoughts for God.
Yes, I love God, but throughout the day, rather than thinking about Him, I would find my mind focused on other things – what will I make for supper, which toy should I buy my niece for her birthday, how can I improve my preschool blog posts?
These are all valid things to be considering. It does not harm me to think about them. In fact, it is wise to put some thought into them.
It wasn’t that I was thinking about bad things, but I wanted my thoughts to turn back to God more often. That would be better.
Over several days I considered this. What was the answer?
Then I started to understand. I began to notice what I was feeding my mind throughout the day: social media posts, podcasts about writing, and grocery store flyers to name a few.
Was I neglecting God?
Not necessarily. I still read my Bible daily, took time to pray for my family, and attended and volunteered at church regularly.
The problem was, I kept crowding my mind with other things.
I don’t want to be the seed crowded out by thorns as mentioned in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13).
I want God to be first in my life.
What does this mean practically?
Just as I switched out an okay snack for the healthier option of lettuce, I can switch out some things in my life to be more intentional to be feeding my mind on the things of God.
Rather than only listening to writing podcasts, I can listen to a Christian podcast or sermon.
Rather than gorging myself on social media posts, I can read a Christian theology book or a Christian biography.
Rather than listening to more news, I can listen to some worship songs.
It is not that I will never listen to a writing podcast, browse social media, or listen to the news. Those things have a place.
Instead, I want to change the balance of what I’m feeding my mind on so as to fuel more thoughts about Jesus.
As Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” NIV
As the old hymn says, I want to turn my eyes upon Jesus; to look full in His wonderful face. For then the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
The more I think about God, the more those petty, unimportant things that can cause so much stress will bother me less.
For today, what is one thing, no matter how small, I can do to feed my mind on the things of God?