Mind Full vs. Mindful
By JENNY SEYLAR
I have discovered that when I attend to the barrage of thoughts, it only requires a few minutes of attention. Then I can refocus my mind on building my relationship with God. What helps to refocus when the To-Do List starts ticker-taping through my consciousness is to temporarily stop. I attend to the baggage filling my mind by writing down the items, set them aside, and then return to my quiet time. By doing this I know I won’t forget to do these tasks later, and I will no longer be distracted by them. Once done, my mind that was full is now better equipped to attend to the one task of growing in my devotion with God.
Unfortunately, I have discovered that some of the items that get written on my list are intangible. Occasionally those things creeping into my mind are feelings of worthiness, anxiety about the future, and occasional loneliness. It’s been helpful to set these aside just like the To-Do List items. Once written on paper, I can spend a more time and energy discovering why I am often plagued by them.
Each day I have been intentionally seeking tangible ways to be in the moment by being mindful. For me, to be mindful includes inviting God in and letting go of all that is not critical to the present moment. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” To be mindful is to seek ways to be still, and especially to seek God amid the stillness. Recently I read the Psalm 46:10 from Eugene Peterson’s THE MESSAGE. It has a more contemporary spin on the passage: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at Me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” A mind that is full has difficulty pausing to spend time with God, “above everything” else.
When I turn to God, turning away from distraction, it is then that I am more mindful with the task at hand. I feel less empty because I am no longer pursuing so many things all at once. I realized that I do not need to be all things to all people. I just need to be the person God created me to be. God wants me tuned in enough so that I