Friday, November 20, 2009

A Beautiful Mind

James, a close friend, is a paranoid schizophrenic. I've known James for many years now, meeting on a weekly basis. Lately, we meet 3 or 4 times each week, each of us growing more and more intimate with our Creator God. James has trouble connecting the dots in life because he has an alternate reality no one else can see. In James' reality, there is a government ran network of people controlling people like himself by computers, placed in courthouses and government buildings around the world. According to James, it's mind control. I believe him.

Do I believe there are computers able to control and read peoples thoughts, implanting instructions? No; but I do believe James has this reality and when I see him trying to process otherwise simple problems; problems most of us would consider elementary, his mind is preoccupied with torment, not allowing him to 'see' what you and I see daily in our decision making. His mind is preoccupied with processing; interpreting all the information, made so real to him. To James, the continuous barrage of thoughts coming at him are real. His mind is preoccupied.

James thinks we meet so he can be tutored, mentored, and taught to carry the power of God through life's many challenges. The truth is that I am no different than him and I learn probably more than him. James has a wrong perception issue, causing his mind to be preoccupied, yet he still has such a simple childlike faith in God. He also has a continuing struggle between this childlike faith and trusting in his own brand of reality, just like me. James, myself, and you have alternate thoughts preoccupying our minds.

Many times, I have thoughts of any number of things consuming me. I think of what order I'll get showered and dressed in the morning, in order to make a meeting at a certain time. I think about how I'm perceived by others. I think about how I can change my behavior to get a sale, or a desired response from whomever I'm speaking. I also think about life situations as they happen; or rather, usually well before they happen, running it though my mind, to be prepared to react when it happens. It's not really funny, but my preoccupied mind never imagines correctly what will happen. It's only when my mind is free from occupation ['preoccupied' (must be my word for the day)], there He is, manifesting things we've imagined while 'with' Him, yet struggled to know how they might again flow freely though us.

A preoccupied mind is just another way of saying 'sin'. Sin is not decisions or performances based on morality, good or bad. God's desire is that His thoughts occupy our minds, rather than being preoccupied with day to day matters of this world.

As I read the definition to the word occupy, I felt so ashamed, convicted, then free. I felt free because He was illuminating within me. Thoughts that were occupying my mind were having Light shown on them, revealing the futility of the trust in them. As I connected how I have allowed my mind to be occupied by my thoughts, God gently manifested in me. The thoughts of this world largely have gone away.

God's invitation for us is to trust Him with childlike faith so that 'no thing' can be between you and He. Trusting God with everything means trusting Him with my mind, my thoughts, enough to lose them in Him and not give thought about tomorrow. As we're set free, now we see as He sees; our decisions will be much better. Without really thinking about tomorrow, we'll have bank accounts, cut our grass and pay our bills. There will be provision to do what needs done, and if the provision ceases, we'll adjust our lifestyle instead of figuring out how to maintain. Without really thinking and processing, we'll make normal decisions because we're no longer victims trying to win. We're victors enjoying a victorious life.

Think about an occupied country or a war ravaged area, where a group of people occupy a territory. That's like our minds. Our thoughts shouldn't occupy our minds, intrenching like our lives will end if we think differently. Thoughts should flow freely, giving room and place for God to change our minds, giving us new direction.

As an exercise, read the definitions of the word occupy and let me know if this ministers to you:
Merriam-Webster: oc·cu·py
Pronunciation: \ˈä-kyə-ˌpī\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): oc·cu·pied; oc·cu·py·ing
Etymology: Middle English occupien to take possession of, occupy, from Anglo-French occupier, occuper, from Latin occupare, from ob- toward + -cupare (akin to capere to seize) — more at ob-, heave
Date: 14th century

1 : to engage the attention or energies of
2 a : to take up (a place or extent in space) b : to take or fill (an extent in time)
3 a : to take or hold possession or control of b : to fill or perform the functions of (an office or position)
4 : to reside in as an owner or tenant
— oc·cu·pi·er \-ˌpī(-ə)r\ noun

"I have told you, when you are not consumed by thoughts, you will have peace. When your preoccupied with situations, you will experience trouble. But there's still hope! I am actively working to remove your hope in worldly ways." John 16:33 David

I Am, David
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