Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Year Of Mindful Living

Today is the first day of 2011, and it's the beginning of a new year of mindful living for me.

What's "mindful living"? For me, it simply means being mindful of God. It means being aware of His ways, His commandments, His character, His presence, His people and being aware of how my life reflects on Him and my fellow Christians. In short, "mindful living" means seeking first the kingdom of God, as the Bible puts it. Mind you, I have little practice in seeking God's kingdom first. Growing up, that wasn't even talked about, let alone practiced, in my nominally Christian family. So, I have little idea of what "seeking God's kingdom first" or "mindful living" looks like, but I'm going to try to practice it.

How do I begin to do something that's almost totally foreign to me? Where do I begin? Do I read Scripture every day? Do I go to church, even if I don't feel like I belong? Must I constantly watch what I say and do lest, through unChristlike words or deeds, I dishonor God? I think "mindful living" entails all of the above, and then some. I think it's practicing a whole new way of life that you are led into by God's spirit. For me, I think coming into that life will be gradual. As I've said before, I never had one of those sweeping conversion experiences where habits are changed instantly, so I know I'm not on the fast track to a Godly transformation. A gradual approach may actually be better since it will give me time to process the change, truly learn from my experiences and so make "mindful living" second nature.

Seek first God's kingdom then everything you need will be supplied to you. Meditate on God and His Law when you get up and when you lie down. That's what Scripture says (paraphrased, of course). Being aware of God is the beginning of mindful living. As the new year unfolds, I will try to be aware of God in my daily life, especially remembering to thank Him for His strength and answered prayers. I know I will forget to do that more often than I not. "Mindful living" hasn't been part of my life and old habits will die hard. Still, I'm going to start on this path and will trust that God will be faithful and just to forgive me when I fail. So, I'm on my way to a new way of life. I'm seeking firs the kingdom of God. Mindful living, here I come.