Mindfulness Day 4: Mindfulness in Your Relationship with Christ
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42, ESV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)
The next topic we’ll explore in our study of being present and mindful is how this looks in our relationship with Christ. Often, at least from my perspective, a relationship with Christ that is lacking will lead to difficulty in being present and mindful in church settings. Much like our relationships with our families and our spouses, it will be difficult to be mentally and physically present in our relationship with Christ if we don’t put in the time.
Have you ever seen a Love & Marriage game show? There are usually three couples, a newlywed one, a couple married 15-20 years, and one married 40+ years, competing to see which couple knows each other the best. Almost every time, the newlywed couple argues the most and gets the least number of questions right. The middle-aged couple typically gets most of the questions right, but also engages in a few arguments. The oldest couple almost always gets 90% or more of the questions correct and doesn’t argue at all. Why is this the case? Well, I would venture to guess that the oldest couple often wins the competition due to the time spent together, the experiences they’ve had, and the life they’ve built together. Simply stated, they’ve put in the time.
If we want to have a healthy relationship with Christ, we need to put in the time. Beyond that, when we’re putting in the time, we need to be physically and mentally present. When I say being physically present, I mean actually doing the reading, the praying, the meditating, etc. as we seek to know more about Him. In my experience, if I am not intentional in setting aside time to do these things and grow closer to Him, they won’t happen. I am not going to miraculously find time during the day, because it will easily be filled with other activities. Mary found time, after her work was done, to sit at the feet of the Savior and listen to His teaching.
While it is important to be physically present in our relationship with Christ, it is just as important to be mentally present. What good will it do if, while we’re reading the Bible, our minds are elsewhere? What if our minds wander while we’re praying? What if our thoughts are not on Christ but on something less important? Without being focused on the task at hand, we’ll be robbing ourselves of an opportunity to learn more of Christ and robbing the Lord of the time and effort He deserves. If you find yourself zoning out while reading, get back in the zone and re-read what was missed. If you are wandering during prayer time, get back on track and start over. Whatever the case, mentally check back in every time. None of us will be 100% successful in this, but we can certainly improve daily. It would be my prayer that each of us would put in the effort to be physically and mentally present in our relationship with Christ.