“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Where’s your mind? Ever been asked that? It was probably asked sarcastically when you said something that was possibly suggestive in some way. Or perhaps you were not paying as much attention in some sporting event as you needed to be and your coach told you to get your head in the game. Our minds are amazing things. The amount of information, they can process effortlessly and their ability to analyze complex data to find patterns is jaw-dropping. But sometimes it’s hard to keep them focused, isn’t it?
One of my favorite Disney-Pixar movies is Up. This story about an old man learning to love and live again after a hard season of grieving his beloved wife’s death brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. As heartwarming as the story is, though, it still has plenty of silly moments as the man and a little boy go on an adventure together. One of the best is the dogs they meet along the way who have been fitted with special collars that give voice to their thinking, enabling them to talk. No matter the dog, none of them can converse very long without being distracted by something and shouting, “Squirrel!”
We are often like those dogs. We may not shout it, but we get distracted from whatever should be the object of our focus so very easily. Now, sometimes this isn’t such a big deal, but more often it really can be problematic. It can result in our running through our days with chaos and disquiet as our chief companions. It’s easy to feel like we never get any peace.
Peace is something we long for at this time of year, isn’t it? The chaos of shopping and going to parties and recitals and concerts and dinners and decorating and cooking and baking and Christmas cards and wrapping and on and on it goes can leave us exhausted. And that’s just at this season. Other seasons bring their own chaos and lack of peace.
We need it, but can’t find it. What do we do? We do exactly what Isaiah says here. We learn to keep our minds focused. We still give everything the attention it deserves, but we stopping flitting about and give them this attention with the proper lens in place. And what is that lens? Jesus.
We keep our minds stayed on Jesus and trust His leading. When we do this, we will find the peace for which we long no matter how busy a season we happen to be facing. And how do we do it? We start with His words. We take them in regularly and hide them in our hearts. We give ourselves to Him in prayer and in service. We repent when we drift and seek His help and perhaps the help of an accountability partner to stay on track. Mostly, though, we learn the discipline of staying focused on Him. That is where we will find the peace we need.