March 9, 2009
Admittedly I am a news junkie. I read several papers (hard copy or on line) every day. And recently I was introduced to a great web site (newseum.org) where you can click on any location in the world and then read several daily newspapers from that area!
Because I am reading so many news publications, I am confronted with quite a bit of “semi-useful” information every week. In just the last few days I learned that some aquatic worms are burping out small amounts of nitrous oxide, producing a potent greenhouse gas. I now know that there are slight advantages to exercising in the afternoon. I discovered there is a new “super sucker” that now vacuums algae off the reefs in Hawaii. American Idol dominated the Tuesday ratings this week with 24.2 million viewers. And a new study conclusively proves that in order for a real life Barbie (doll) to be proportional, she would have to be 7’6” tall!
What a silly list of useless information to have rolling around in my head! What a waste of brain neurons!
Instead, I should be focusing on the instruction that Paul gave to the believers in Philippi. At the end of his letter (Philippians 4-9); Paul addresses two women who were struggling with their personal relationship. In that context, he sets the perspective for everyday life by exhorting them to get along and find a way to rejoice in their circumstances. He reminds them all that the Lord is near. He urges them to not be anxious for anything.
And then he focuses on exactly what they should be thinking about. He actually makes an extended list for them to ponder. He says ”…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.”
I am convinced that our lives would be calmer, sweeter and in better balance if we pondered that same list. Let’s ignore the burping worms, algae suckers, and endless information on exercising this week and instead focus on some important things.
Let’s concentrate on things that are true (like the instruction found in the word of God), things that are noble (like the character of a real leader), things that are right (like working hard), things that are pure (like the heart of a young child), things that are lovely (like the love of your spouse) and things that are admirable (like putting others first).
As we develop the habit of thinking intentionally on such lofty topics, we too will be able to enjoy the presence of the God of peace!