Occupy All Streets

occupyPhilippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

What occupies the streets of your mind?

The iconic protest against financial inequality a few years ago made Occupy Wall Street a household term. But how about your Wall Street? Do you realize a Wall Street exists in each of our minds? It’s where our finances live. The world runs on money. If we’ve been blessed with a lot of it, we’re prone to worry about how to keep it, use it, or invest it. If our bills outweigh our paychecks we worry how to spend what we don’t have. Our Wall Streets provide ample opportunity for anxiety occupation.

People Place. Now there’s a street in everyone’s mind. Some of life’s richest treasures inhabit that address. Also some of the greatest distractions. Relationships, I have to admit, occupy a pretty big space in my thoughts. It’s easy for me to be consumed thinking about my family, friends, students. Quiet concerns sometimes occupy my people place more than trust in God.

Avenues of worry about the direction of our country, religious liberty, injustices and corruption can easily merge into a major interstate of interrupted peace.  What starts as legitimate concerns detours into a road of fruitless speculation and inevitable dead ends.

Alleys of pre-occupation with the details of living gnaw around the edges of my thought-life. I let my mind be filled with all kinds of unnecessary vanities and fears. Does this dress make me look fat? Did I prepare enough for that class? Am I doing a good job?

The Apostle Paul tells us what should occupy the streets of our mind…the peace of God.

A peace not based on understanding. Not as a result of extensive worry or emotional assurances. A peace that comes when we place all our worries in God’s hands. We do an about-face, or better put—an about-thought. We intentionally de-occupy anxieties and replace them with something more worthy. “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

So what’s occupying the streets of your mind? If your thoughts are robbing you of God’s peace and presence, maybe it’s time to re-think. Time to occupy all streets with something far better.

 

 

 

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