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Lenten Thoughts: Mindfulness

 

I read an article in Prevention magazine several years ago about the benefits of mindfulness. Did you know:
-A study showed in 140 binge eaters mindfulness reduced binging 75%.
-Mindfulness eases anxiety by 44% and depression by 34% while increasing immunity.
-Mindfulness improves physical functioning and reduces pain.
-Mindfulness results in significant improvement in memory.
-Mindfulness strengthens relationships. (Prevention Magazine, January 2008)

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Pretty impressive. Pretty good reasons to consider being mindful. What does it mean? According to dictionary.com, mindfulness is defined as: attentive, aware, or careful. I am of the opinion that this word, concept and practice, is very biblical.

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Paul told the Romans to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (12:2) and directed the Philippians to think on what is “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” (4:8). A search of “take care” brings up 117 references in the Old and New Testaments.

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So it behooves us to “pay attention” in life. What have you been noticing as you race through life? What have you heard? What have you felt? There was a tissue commercial where a woman was going through her day with a “touch, touch, touch, touch…feel” experience. The point was: we bump through life barely aware of the things we touch and that touch us. When the woman finally came across the best tissue, it caused her to feeeeeel something more deeply. We can know that kind of depth as we come into the presence of the Almighty. Talk about feeling!

In Psalms we find the assurance that God neither slumbers nor sleeps. David is overwhelmed by God’s attentiveness and questions in Psalm 8: who are we that you are mindful of us? Nothing happens in our lives, but God is aware. He knows when we are up all night. He knows when our job is about to phase out. He knows what the doctor just told us. He knows. And he is mindful, attentive and caring.

Today, don’t just bump mindlessly through your appointments, contacts, or even your shopping. Yesterday, we were invited to look. Now, we are invited to be mindful of the one who is mindful of us.

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