While on holiday over the summer, we came across several lost items inside one of our suitcase pockets. We didn’t know that they were there and we had accidentally taken them on holiday with us for the last few years.
We all carry items that we need, things that might be useful and some things for those “just in case” moments.
We all carry certain things with us through life; fears and worries, expectations and experiences, attitudes and beliefs. We can be aware of factors that are shaping our thoughts, words and behaviour, while other drivers and biases lie further beneath the surface, that we aren’t aware of yet they influence our daily lives.
In the Letter to the Romans we are encouraged to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 8: 2
The “pattern of this world” or the culture that we live in, is simply a collective understanding of the way that we do things around here. This can be positive and negative. The important first step is to become aware of the attitudes, expectations and concerns of those around us and those that are within us. Our thought patterns shape our mental, emotional, relational and physical health. As exercise is good for our bodies and minds, giving consideration to what we are carrying with us in our hearts and heads, is also very important for our wellbeing.
God encourages us that by dealing with damaging and harmful thought patterns we can bring change to not only our lives but the lives of others. The Christian principle of confession can help with this; not going and telling someone everything that you have done wrong. But being open and honest with ourselves and God about what is happening around us and inside us. To acknowledge what has been, to reflect on what is and to use these experiences to shape your life for the better with God’s help.
We all carry things with us through life. It’s important every now and then to have a sort out, check what might be stowed away, declutter and leave behind anything that is unhelpful and weighing us down.