I was snorkeling in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System off the coast of Akumal, Mexico. It's the second largest barrier reef system on Earth. I saw amazing coral and fish on a grand scale. If I didn't know I was on Earth, it would have seemed extraterrestrial.
As I was swimming into shore, I realized that there is a great deal of very small things to look at in both the deep and shallow waters. The biodiversity is stunning in both the large and very small. There are wonderfully complex creatures living sea shells that are too small for my fingers to pick up. There are schools of hundreds of fish that hide under the smallest stony coral. I got to watch them for the longest time.
And it made me think.
Me. Coral reef. Hot sun. Crystal clear ocean water. Surrounded by life beyond my imagination. It was one of those moments. Or, maybe it was the lingering effects of the margaritas de la casa shared with my wife the night before. Not sure. But it was an extraordinary moment of mindfulness and insight.
As a rational person, I say that I lost myself in a connection with everything. For a brief moment, I was in a state of all of the above. And a funny story came to mind.
Freedom to Choose
It's a story I heard a while ago. It's not according to the bible, but its cute. And it goes like this. God was lining up all of the life of the world and giving each living thing an opportunity to choose what they want to become. And each had to choose which tool to use in their life. For example, the dog chose a voice to bark; the bird chose wings to fly; the fish chose gills to breathe underwater; etc.
Eventually God comes to the last living thing and asks what it would like to become. And the human being chooses to stay just as it is, but makes one request -- that God grant the human being the ability to choose and use any available tools throughout its lifetime.
I Can Do All Things
I can sing, fly, swim, and run. I can do all things. It's even written in heavenly texts that I can.
It's by my decision to believe in the power that works within me that I can do all things. In Ephesians we read that we have power within ourselves that was given to us by Spirit, which is able to do abundantly above all that we could ever dream of.
If we see ourselves in a way that is singular, static, and finite, then we limit ourselves. We become like the tropic fish that I saw in the coral reef. The fish were beautiful and wonderous, for sure, but still a bit limited. Limitations are stressful because they can create suffering and dissatisfaction in your life.
Just like a rope that has been tied around your whole body. Limitations feel very frustrating.
Bring Suffering to an End
If we can fully understand, believe with our minds and heart, that we have the God-given right, freedom, and means to live an unlimited, abundant, powerful life, then we can be in charge of our happiness, joy, peace, and love in our lives. We can believe to bring suffering, stress, doubt, worry, and fear to an end.
If you want true happiness in your life, if you want to live a life that is more than abundant, filled with love, if you want to learn what to do in your life that will bring long-term well-being, you've got to control your mind. The Buddha taught that the mind is everything. That's correct.
The mind is the key to power in your life.
Imagine a luxury car in your driveway. Let's say it's sleek, modern, and luxurious, with a ton of horsepower, 0-60 mph in 5 seconds, two-stage resonance intake manifold with six plus one switchable valves, 7-speed manual transmission, and sports seats with smooth-finish leather interior. And your sexy woman is holding the key. Hamana hamana.
That's the powerful life that is available to you.
Both the car and the hot woman are right there in your driveway! God always wants the best for you. You have the choice and freedom to believe and decide what to do. The key to power is the renewed mind. Are you going to reach for that key?
By renewing our mind, we're not conformed to this world, but, instead, we are transformed. And in doing so, there is cause and effect. We can prove to ourselves and others the results of renewing the mind. It's written in Romans.
Without the key, the power remains dormant, potential power. You turn on the power with the key, your mind.
But my mind right now might be limited. I might be thinking that I'm more like a tropical fish than a child of God with unlimited power inside myself. To grab the key, the woman, and the car in life, I have to get my mind right. And that takes some training. I call it renewing the mind.
Jesus Christ's Mind
A great example of a man who renewed his mind was Jesus Christ. In his day and time, he lived according to what he believed. He always held the spiritual truths from the heavenly texts in his mind, and he acted accordingly. As a result, the new birth became available. And from that day on, the gift of holy spirit has been available to anyone who believes. We are three things: body, soul, and spirit. By the spirit that works within you, we are connected with everything, God, the universe, fish, women, etc. And that spirit is called power from on high.
For Renewing Our Minds
In our day and time, we have been given a great resource to use in renewing our minds. As we renew our minds to the spiritual truths that are available to us, our minds are coordinated and in harmony with our spirit. We want the whole package of body, soul, and spirit to be in alignment and harmony to bring forth the power of God in manifestation.
Since thought comes before action, we want to first think about what we want to think about. Let's take a quick look at a few verses that we can mindfully apply to our lives today.
In the previous verse, the "ways of the flesh" refer to the things of this world. I see many childrens' minds being set upon the media of this world. In contrast, we focus on the things of the spirit. We are spiritually minded and enjoy a life with peace.
The renewed mind is what allows us to enjoy fellowship with God so that our lives are rich, full, and fruitful.
The mind of the flesh, one that is consumed by the world, is against what's available from God. The renewed mind is opposite from enmity.
We put off the old man and put on the new in response to God's great love for us.
We choose what to study, like good workmen. And as we continue to read and study the spiritual truths that are available to us, we get that light of God in our thinking.
We don't neglect what has been given to us. But instead we meditate upon these spiritual truths. And in doing so, our profiting appears to all. And this brings wholeness not only to ourselves but to people around us.
According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, "meditate" means to rehearse and go over a matter in one's mind. New Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies says that "meditate" means to talk with oneself. Biblically to meditate means to focus and rehearse one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply. As we rehearse in our minds the spiritual truths that are available to us, we can put an end to suffering and live a life that is abundantly filled with joy, peace, and love.
Let's hold spiritual truths in our minds and act accordingly. Let's not be limited and tied up in our lives. You're more than a tropical fish. You're child of God. You hold the key to power in your life. Let's renew our minds by meditating upon spiritual truths and release the exceeding greatness of God's power in our lives and others whom we love.
You may be interested in learning how your spirit makes your work fruitful and who is God.
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