The Grace Jar (#3)

I am my own worst enemy. My mind, specifically. It runs

100 miles an hour, even when I'm asleep. You may think this is because I'm a writer. An artist, if you will. And artists and writerly people have minds that simply never stop. After all, I can't go anywhere without seeing a story. And please don't let me overhear a conversation with so much as an inkling of intrigue. My mind whirls, taking what could be benign and turns it into something filled with twists and turns.

I dream. Every night, I dream. Technicolor dreams with such details, you cannot imagine. Most mornings, I recall them all. Every nuance. Every word said. Every "and then, as if I passed through a veil ..."

All day long, my mind races. Not only with things that need to be done, but with things I did and old conversations. Sometimes I laugh out loud for no apparent reason--I remembered something funny someone said. Other times my brow furrows and heat rises to my face. I have now remembered something negative. Something hurtful. Oh, and you should hear the way I respond to that hurtful person! Of course this is only in my mind. I never responded that way in real life. Only in my mind.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, says Paul in Romans 12:2.

I think Paul gets me. His "let me beat myself up" verses found in Romans 7 tells it all. He and I are so alike in that. And you know what? I bet Paul had a racing mind. He and I are alike in that, I'm willing to bet.

When you read Romans 7, you have to wonder if Paul ever reached into his Grace Jar and found it empty, especially where he was concerned. I know, Paul. I understand. I rarely pull out a Grace Jar note for myself. Rarely, if ever.

Maybe that's how my Grace Jar emptied out.

RENEW your mind, the apostle pens later on ... after he has beat himself up. Bless Paul ... did he have the music at his fingertips--music that either blares praise or sorrow, magnificence or madness--at the touch of a button? Did he have television to draw him from the Truth of the Word? Did he have the internet filled with its goodness and its trash? Did he have social media ... that has become so filled with hate and disgust those of us who try to stay positive feel as if we are drowning in a vast, roaring ocean? Were his days filled to capacity with the noise of traffic and the voices that simply won't shut up?

He did not.

Wonder how he would fare today?

Renew your mind, you say ... how, Paul? How?

By not conforming ...

All right.

Give it to God. Your whole body. That includes your mind. Do whatever it takes. Turn off the music. Stay away from the TV and the computer and find a quiet place ...

A quiet place. I do so love the quiet, but ... most days it's easier said than done, Paul.

You said you wanted to fill your Grace Jar.

What do you know of grace?

Oh, sister ... sit down ... what do I know of grace?

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