february 9th - Not Mindful
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:21-23 (NKJV)
As a child I loved to watch cartoons. One of my favorite cartoon characters was Mr. Magoo. Mr. Magoo was a stubborn character whose exploits were filled with danger, because, Mr. Magoo was virtually blind. He stumbled through each episode unaware of the unseen peril that lurked around the next corner.
I wonder how much that describes my life. Am I blind to the happenstance that surrounds me? Am I clueless as to the dangers and possibilities alike? Do I understand my purpose in living? Am I aware of God's plan for me? Am I mindful of the things of God? (I'm fairly confident that I don't want the honest answers to that list of questions)
Peter's life reminds me of Mr. Magoo. His was a roller-coaster existence, full of highs and lows. He was up; and he was down. He was bold; then he was afraid. He was outspoken; then he was incognito. He was an early adopter; and he was the first one off the train. Peter must have been a real challenge for Jesus' patience.
Peter responded to Jesus' question. "Who do you say that I am?" Peter exclaimed: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!" A short time later, as Jesus foretold the events that would lead to His death, Peter once again jumps in blindly. "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" Jesus then rebuked Peter with the truth: "You are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." You might think that Jesus zinged Peter, but truthfully, He just zinged me. This is often my home address. The home address of the "Not Mindful of the Things of God" man. How can I turn that all around and become mindful of the things of God?
Perhaps it starts with surrendering the destiny of my life to the one who is putting the itinerary of my life together in the first place. Here is an idea: Instead of trying to figure out the meaning of life and how I fit in to the picture; maybe I just need to "do" what Jesus suggested: "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness;" exchanging my mind that is full of the things of men for a consciousness that is mindful of the things of God.
Author's Note: I have always been hard on Peter. His actions are too often a reflection of a clueless individual, and followers of Christ should be more insightful than that. "Right!" Mr. insightful I am not. Mr. Not Mindful of the Things of God is my definition. I want to see a change in that piece of the puzzle that is me. So, Lord, cause me to be more mindful and more aligned with Your thinking and Your purposes. RJD