Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guard Well Your Thoughts

For the last 24+ hours, there have been abundant postings on Facebook and elsewhere of sentiments like this one from The Onion, that edgy, satirical, pretend-news rag: Trump Unable To Produce Certificate Proving He's Not A Festering Pile Of Shit. Yep, that's all there is - just a photo of The Donald and this headline.

There's a part of me that wants to click on "Like" underneath these postings, because the sentiment resonates with me. Then there's another part of me that cautions: what I think can be as sinful as what I say and do. 

What I know to be true, for me, is that minding my tongue is a good thing - that I am not my sister's or my brother's judge, and that my job is to see to my own reconciliation with God and with my neighbors. And it's not just my tongue that I must mind, it's also my thoughts. We proclaim by thought, word and deed the Good News of God in Jesus Christ. Most of us have the deed part kind of in hand and are working on the word part. 

But the thought part is the truly hard part, and that's the part that I am keenly aware of and working, working, working on. I believe that when we work on the thought part, just as in prayer, we help to create the space that is the reign of God, that is the place of dignity and respect for all of Creation. Working on the thought part is where personal prayer practice, contemplation, meditation and seeking unity with nature come into the picture. 

When we are at our best, practicing being with the rest of Creation, we have the possibility of getting in touch with how our thoughts affect us, how they cause us to say hurtful things and to do harmful things. Guarding our thoughts, changing our thoughts, elevating our thoughts - these things have some real practical and tangible outcomes. They lift our emotions and our spirits. Our lifted emotions and spirits impact other people with whom we interact. Together we impact whole environments, beginning with those most immediate to us. 

Think about this. Direct your thoughts towards charitable thoughts of those who irritate you, those you deem stupid and those who seem beyond redemption. You will change yourself by changing your thoughts. And you will change your family and friends, because they will respond differently to a changed you. This is how the world changes. One thought at a time. One person at a time. One experience of Peace at a time.


C. Robin Janning said...

True and timely. Thank you. Amen.

David H-T said...

I love this post. I've had similar attractions to the Trump link and a similar reaction to my own attraction: How can I go from being aware that I disagree with his politics and that he certainly does act like a side-show carnival barker to thinking he's worthless and/or unredeemable? There are a lot of steps from one to the other. Yes, guard our thoughts. Well said! Peace, David

PseudoPiskie said...

I seem to spend a lot of time apologizing to Godde for uncharitable thoughts. At least I'm to the point of mostly recognizing them for what they are and trying hard not to voice them aloud. We are such a negative nation at the moment. I wish I could stifle it in our parish. I even boldly told a priest (not ours) yesterday that her negativity makes me sad. May Godde bless all our efforts to love and show our love for and to all Godde's creation! In spite of our true opinions...


Thanks, Robin, David and Shelley, for sharing your good thoughts. I appreciate them. I think that's what we have to do -- share our good thoughts. Remember to acknowledge kindness and goodness when we see it, say "thank you" and "I appreciate you" often, and embark on a silent meditation when the biting remarks want to cross our lips.

I heard a speaker last night talk about what he has come to conclude as the only viable solution to bringing people who don't want to cross over from the dark side to the light, and that is, "to lead by example and with humility." He specifically zeroed in on Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, an example of servanthood with humility. I'm pondering it.