Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities (Sins),
Who heals all your diseases (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional);
Who redeems your life from the pit (graves of our own making),
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle....
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
Psalm 103:2-5, 8
"How did I end up in this place again?" were my thoughts on December 29, 2012. My closets were full of clothes no longer suited to my taste, my cupboards were overflowing with dishware that I do not use, socks were piled with no mates on my laundry table, and kitchen drawers stocked with good intentions forgotten littered my cabinets. Once again my home was occupied with "stuff" draining my mental energies and controlling my time to move, clean, and work around.
Every year I declare that I will not be taken over with unnecessary "stuff", but each year my mindless choices take over and occupy me like Germany did in Eastern Europe during World War 2. When I read today's Psalm (103), I am struck by how my spiritual, emotional, and mental life could be different in 2013 if I begin the practice of "mindful occupation."
Mindful Occupation is to be occupied with God. To be intentional about allowing him to fill and control my thinking. If I am intentional about what occupies my mental, spiritual, and emotional "closets and drawers," then I will be free from the unnecessary clutter of fear, doubt, worry, and anxiety that clutters my soul.
This Psalm is about being occupied with the the knowledge that in Christ my sins are forgiven, that I am healed from the diseases that my sin inflicts (fear, anxiety, worry, hopelessness, etc), that He redeems and removes me from the "life graves" of my own making, that I am crowned with His love and compassion, and that the satisfaction of knowing I am pardoned will renew my heart and allow it to freely soar in His presence and grace.
Yes, "mindful occupation" will allow us to choose what enters both the home of our hearts and our houses. I must be mindful, or like my house, I will be overtaken with unnecessary artifacts that clutter and clamor for both my time, space, and energy.
Today, choose to "Bless the LORD" and then step back and be blessed. Let Him fill your heart and mind with truth. Occupy your thoughts with His promises of love and restoration. Be renewed knowing that He is "slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness." What better way for your soul to be filled and controlled. Yes, we have a choice. Today, mindfully choose Christ.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name (Psalm 103:1). Today, and each day forward, be filled with the "GOOD NEWS" that Jesus Saves. Amen.