Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mooooovin' on....

Eleanor Roosevelt once remarked, "With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." It is not always the case, for some thoughts can linger for a good while, giving us many a worry or concern just because they are ever there in the recesses of our minds. We have a way of ruminating on those things sometimes without even knowing we are doing it - it just "happens". Cows actually "ruminate" on their food - chewing and chewing it until it is mashed into oblivion. It is where we get the term "chew the cud". Some thoughts are worth mulling over repeatedly, like those that focus us on God's goodness and his grace. Others are not worth our repeated effort to "dissolve" or "change". They just need to be spit out!

Let your heart overflow with praise to the Eternal, for He is good, for His faithful love lasts forever. Let your heart overflow with praise to the True God of heaven, for His faithful love lasts forever. (Psalm 136:1, 26 VOICE)

There are times I do a better job of keeping focused on the stuff that matters, rejecting or "spitting out" the stuff that really just bogs me down and wastes my efforts trying to "resolve" or "dissolve". Sometimes, try as we might, we cannot change the matter - no matter how much rumination we engage in!  The problem with ruminating on these matters is the wear and tear it gives our body, minds, and spirit! We just invest way too much energy in something which cannot really change much from what it is. A cow can chew on rather woody weeds for a long, long time, but the "woodiness" of those weeds will remain - they are just not going to change!

Paul told the believers at Philippi: "Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy." (Philippians 4:8 VOICE) Our minds are not meant to be occupied by things which distract, cause us anxiety, or create chaotic effort on our parts. They are to be filled with the kind of stuff that helps us maintain focus, frees us of the cares we might otherwise want to hang onto, and bring settled peace to an otherwise pretty chaotic world in which we live. The more we "spit out" or reject what isn't worth the effort of chewing on, the more we will find the stuff we choose to "take in" will bring us much more satisfaction and comfort.

What we think upon will eventually change our hearts - maybe this is why we are told to only ruminate on the best of thoughts! The cow can invest a whole lot of time trying to repeatedly change the consistency of that woody weed, but all that time will not change the root from which it came! The weed will always be a weed. The cow must look for a different source of food - it must change its intake! I think some of us need to hear this, as well - it is time for us to change our intake because our heart is being affected by what it is we are constantly dwelling upon. There are just some things we cannot change - it is best to move on - look for better pastures from which to graze.  Just thinkin!