This morning on the way to work, I passed two farmers who had stopped to open a gate to their sheep paddock. As I watched them, their gaze turned with fixed attention upon a ute (pickup) driving in front of me carrying Merino rams. Their necks craned and swiveled as their eyes followed the rams passing in front of them.
These farmers exhibited something which is common to many of us: our attention is drawn to the things in our lives which we spend the most time being involved with.
I know this to be true because as soon as my wife and I had our first child, we noticed babies everywhere we went. Prior to this there seemed to have existed no babies anywhere at all.
The same principle holds true in our lives of faith. When we spend time with our minds and our lives involved in Christ, the Bible and living out our faith with actions, our attention is drawn to others who do the same. We talk about Christ with others we know. Our ears prick up when we hear of Christian events or stories of encouragement.
Or at least I believe that should be how we respond. Too often our lives can be overtaken with thoughts, actions and desires which differ from what Jesus would ideally want us to be caught up with.
Paul tells us to“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Collossians 3:2
The phrase ‘set your minds’ is translated from the word φρονεῖτε. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines it thus: to direct one’s mind to a thing, to seek or strive for.
So Paul is telling us strive to keep our thoughts on heavenly things. The idea is that when we do seek to keep heavenly thoughts foremost in our minds, we can reflect heavenly things in our words, our thoughts and our actions here in the physical world.
Now, you might think living like this would make you an idle dreamer, but it’s what the Bible teaches us to do. The idea is repeated in Hebrews 12:2:
Are you so involved in the things of Christ that your head is turned by God’s work wherever you see it?