Words of Worth

How Many Times Will it Take?

February 25, 2011

Recently after a routine bank visit, I pulled away from the drive thru with a dog biscuit for my mutt and a Tootsie Pop for my daughter. She was thrilled (so was the dog) and her excitement was compounded by the fact that she had just seen a commercial on television advertising them. “Mom!”, she said, “I just saw this on TV! There’s a little boy and he asks an owl how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop!” When I told her that was the same commercial I watched when I was a little girl she was stunned and then of course began counting HER licks out loud as we drove toward home. I thought of this interchange a few days later, as I was considering the first two verses of Colossians 3:
Therefore since you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things that are here on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

The words “set your mind on” in that verse can also be translated “be intent on”. So I am to be intent on the things above – a task I find far easier said than done. Things below here on the earth where I dwell, seem to hold my attention and dare I say, distract me from a more God seeking posture. This is especially challenging when the things here below are, well…difficult and I’ve lost my joy. Instead of looking up to Him, I find myself looking down in sorrow or around in panic trying to find the answer. Sometimes I even try to create my own joy by filling up my life with lesser things. It takes a supreme act of the mind and will to focus some days on those “things above” – and some days I have to re-focus many times throughout the course of the day.

It has been rightly said, “What gets my attention, gets me.”

As you face another morning and another set of circumstances, many of which will be outside your control, determine this day to set your mind – be intent on – those things above where Christ is seated. How many times will you have to stop and refocus? It depends. The owl in the commercial took the Tootsie Pop from the little boy, cracked it after three licks and pronounced very gravely, “The world may never know.” Some days you may get on track after as few as three “readjustments” (or licks) but others days it will a continuous process. That’s when you grab onto Psalm 16:8 and with the Psalmist say, “I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (CT)

For further focus: Read Psalm 27 and list benefits of seeking God.

“Choice of attention – to pay attention to this and ignore that – is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences.” W. H. Auden, 20th century poet

%d bloggers like this: