an easter mindset.

easter is always the holiday that sneaks up on me.  christmas i feel prepared for.  i mean i have an endless “to do” list of gifts, decorations, lights, & crafting that seems to take place all in one month.  and halloween, well i have to be somewhat ready for…. i mean who doesn’t love trying to figure out what super cute costume your kids will wear? i may or may not obsess over this a little too much.

but easter (possibly the most significant holiday in regard to my Christian faith) always surprises me.  one time i gave up sweets for lint and that helped me fully appreciate easter… and all of the candy that goes with it.

a couple of weeks ago i spoke at the Stirring (the Sunday night service at Hope Church, here’s the link if you’re interested: http://www.hopepres.com/the-stirring ) and discussed the idea of being “unified.”  of how we should not only be people but a community that is unified in mind and spirit.  basically, the main idea was how we can strive to have a like-minded, others-minded, and cross-minded mindset.  one of the verses i read was {Philippians 2:5-11}.  & for some reason i have found myself constantly coming back to this verse over the past couple of weeks.  here’s what it says…

“In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death–Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

when thinking about holy week and all Jesus prepared for and accomplished, i can’t help but be in awe of the simplicity (and extraordinary challenge) of the statement, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had…”  When faced with literally the most difficult experience humanly possible, Christ had a mindset that was completely and purely humble.  a mindset that was focused on service and love and obedience.  

this gets me.  right now my current mindset is on which candy i am planning on buying delle so i can eat some.  sad i know; but it’s true.  but really, on a deeper level… my “attitude of the mind” is pretty much always on worry.  i have way too much of that in my life these days.  worry about baby #2, worry about future plans, worry about people, worry about expectations, worry about our family plans this easter weekend or what service we will attend.  worry.  & a lot of it. but what if all that worry was replaced with service? or humility? or love? or trust?  how differently would my life look?  if instead of focusing on my stuff; my worries i started focusing on others.  i started focusing on the cross and what was truly accomplished when Jesus refused to be confined by death and the expectations of this world.

that’s powerful.  and has radically shaped my thought-life.  i have started seeking to have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had” and to really begin directing (key word) what i think/dwell/focus on.  and i say “directing” because my anxious thoughts creep in.  they sneak attack me when i think things are fine and then i end up panicking about worst case scenarios and the “what if’s” of life… so i need to DIRECT my thoughts, my mindset to the cross.  i need to work at not letting the worry bombard (and override) my life.  but heres the thing… when i do.  when the cross wins.  when my mind is set on what Jesus did and accomplish, i am free.  free to really love and serve and live as i am fully called (and built) to live.

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