American cartoonist and children’s book author, Guy Gilchrist, wrote this poem:
You are the Keeper of The Keys.
You are the Guard of The Gate.
Waiting in line to get through that door
Is LOVE. And also HATE.
In line to enter is GENTLE PEACE.
And also VIOLENT WAR.
You must choose who may, and who
May not come through the door.
INTOLERANCE tries to sneak on through
On wings of FEAR, or PRIDE.
It hides behind DREAMS of BELONGING,
And tries to sneak inside.
Oh! Be alert! You’re the Guard who decides
Who GOES and who may STAY.
You are The Keeper of The Keys to Your Mind.
Who will you let in today?
We can control our thoughts.
When you are in prison or whatever trial, then bringing everything through God’s filtering system for your mind is essential. The Apostle writes, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4: 8-9)
If you search for ‘iced eagle on lake Michigan’ into Youtube you will watch an inspiring story of a Bald Eagle sitting on a block of ice on the lake unable to fly because of an 8 inch ball of ice had stuck to its tail feathers.
The Bald Eagle is the national bird symbol for the USA, they have a wingspan of 2 metres, can fly at over 30 miles per hour for up to 225 miles per day, but all that is useless if you are stuck to a ball of ice.
We can be like that Bald Eagle, stuck to a block of ice because we are held captive by our thoughts. We have the opportunity to do so much but we never fulfil our potential because of our thinking.
The truth is and the Apostle helps us: we can filter our thinking.
Is it true? Is it genuine and authentic? The devil is the father of lies but God is the Father of truth. We need to saturate our minds with truth. We must memorise Scripture, not just one or two verses but whole passages. Don’t allow the thought to come that you’re not good on remembering, you remember lots of things. As you do this will turn on the filtering system of your mind that will only allow true thoughts to stay.
Is it noble? Is it worthy of honour, self-respect and control? The word ‘noble’ is used 4 times in the New Testament and each time it is linked to the control of the tongue.
Is it admirable? Which is similar to ‘noble’ but specifically to speak well of a person.
Is it right? So often we are thinking on things that are unworthy and not righteous.
Is it pure? Is it not contaminated with sin? The purity of our thoughts will determine the purity of our lives. So watch and read and listen to good things.
Is it lovely? Is it pleasing and beautiful? The world is obsessed with the beauty on the outside. But what of the mind with its battles with revenge, anger or criticism. What about thoughts of you and your self-worth?
Is it excellent or praiseworthy? Is it commendable to others? Will people want to follow what you are thinking about?
What is the first and greatest commandment? It is to love God with all your mind …
We need to fill our minds with the splendour of God.
Let’s do some good thinking today.