As believers, we know this life is temporary and there is an eternal home that follows.
On what or whom do you focus your daily thoughts? And how important is it to dwell on our everlasting lives? Jesus looked at Peter and told Satan to get behind him because he had become a stumbling block. How? Jesus said Peter’s mind was not on the divine but on human things (Matthew 16:23).
Paul continues Jesus’ teaching saying to set our minds on the flesh is death; yet to set our minds on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:6).
What are we to make of this?
My simple-minded analysis tells me when I think about carnal or worldly or temporal things, I become a stumbling block to Jesus. Hmmm. Not a pleasant thought.
As we reminisce about Jesus’ first coming during this month, it’s easy to also contemplate his return.
But, at his first coming, some were so ill prepared they didn’t even recognize him. How can we be sure we are ready in our mind, body, and spirit for his next coming? And what if he comes while we are at work? Are we as prepared during our workday as we are when we are at home?
Ideas to focus your daily thoughts:
- Consider offering a full hour of conversation with and prayer to God each day. If an hour is too much at one time, maybe divide it into four 15-minute sessions throughout the day. Or perhaps it makes sense to retreat to Jesus during twelve 5-minute prayer episodes. These intimate conversations take our minds off of the worldly noise so we are able to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit.
- Try to experience God in everything around you at all times. See him in the sunshine, a fresh breeze, plants, and animals. At the same time, make every effort to see him in your team, your vendors, and your customers. It becomes difficult to focus on worldly interests when we see Jesus in everything and everyone around us.
- Allow every thing in your day to be done solely for the building of the kingdom and the glory of God. Do it all from the heart as if for the Lord and not for man (Colossians 3:23). And that includes our work.
Besides the above, what are some of your current strategies for having the mind of Christ, especially at work or in your business?
Write them down, pray over them, and ask for the grace for new and even stronger ways to help you focus on the eternal and put temporal things behind you.
About Mike Van Vranken
Mike Van Vranken, a lifelong Catholic, is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, and teacher. Following forty years of leading, coaching, and developing business owners, Mike founded Mike Van Vranken Ministries to fulfill his passion to bring Jesus to the world around him. He brings his experiences as a mentor, leader, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur to provide teaching and spiritual leadership to all who are interested. His dream is to deliver the teachings of Jesus to women and men, old and young, poor and rich, people of every background and diversity – to the entire body of Christ.
Mike is co-author of the brand new book: Faith Positive in a Negative World. In paperback and on Kindle now at amazon.com.
Mike is an adjunct professor for the Bishop Greco Institute for Adult Formation of the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport. He writes a monthly column for the Catholic Connection, a magazine published by his Diocese. He served on the founding Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of North Louisiana. He gives Lenten, Advent, and Spiritual Missions, Keynote addresses, Breakout presentations, and he leads retreats. He holds a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas. He and Barbara, his wife of 42 years, live in Shreveport, LA.
Discover more about Mike at: www.mikevanvrankenministries.org as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google.