“THINK ABOUT SUCH THINGS”
We are currently going through a difficult time in our country where we are exposed to a lot of negative words being spoken that tear people down, causing doubt about their character and creating hard feelings. This is called “Election Year.” It comes around every four years and coincidentally coincides with “Leap Year” (like we need one additional day to be exposed to this verbal assault). Politicians are trying to influence our thoughts through their negative rhetoric. God’s Word addresses where we should focus our thoughts:
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
THE HUMMINGBIRD AND THE VULTURE
Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over the desert. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. Hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants.
The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. Hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life and they fill themselves with freshness and life.
We have the opportunity to choose each minute of each day what we are going to focus our thoughts and energies on. I can remember hearing the first set of open headers on a racecar. My neighbor, Jay Hughes, was setting the timing on his Super Modified dirt car and I was instantly drawn to this beautiful noise. My love affair with racing was born that day. God knew that one day He would use my passion for racing to impact His kingdom through a relationship with His Son Jesus. Since 1998 I have chosen to “think about such things” that will direct people that love racing to be guided to the Cross of Salvation through Team RFC®. This brings me great joy.
Recently I heard the story of the farmer who was discouraged with his farm so he decided to sell out and move somewhere else.
He engaged a realtor to look the farm over and prepare a sales ad. Before putting it in the paper, the realtor called and read the proposed ad to him, saying, “See if this meets with your approval.”
The ad spoke of a good location; a well maintained house, sturdy barns, lush pasturelands, a beautiful pond, fertile soil, and a great view. The farmer listened carefully, and said, “Read that to me again, slowly.”
So the realtor read it to him again. Finally, the farmer said, “No, don’t print that ad. I’ve changed my mind. I’ve always wanted a place like that. I’m not going to sell.”
How you look at something can make a world of difference in how you behave. Ella Wheeler Wilcox stated that same idea when she wrote:
“One ship sails east & another west with the self-same winds that blow.
Tis the set of the sail & not the gale which determines the way they go.”
Life is like that. What you pay attention to, and what you focus upon in life, will generally determine the kind of decisions you make.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.”
We ought to commit that verse to memory, realizing what so many are doing today is the exact opposite. Look at the TV listings, what we view on the internet, the popular magazines, even our newspapers and you will often see glorification of things that are impure, wrong & untrue. People focus so much on the negative that the media seldom features positive news because they’re afraid they’ll lose their audience.
We live in a computerized world. You can do almost anything on a computer now. You can book plane flights, do your banking, order almost anything you could want, listen to music, make presentations, talk to someone halfway around the world. There is a term computer users know. It’s “GIGO”- Garbage In, Garbage Out.
We see this in today’s racing. Computers are controlling more and more functions of our racecars. The new Pro Stock rule changes center around computers telling the engines when to fire the injectors and at what timing the spark plugs should fire. The teams are very smart and it hasn’t taken long for most teams to get a good grip on this new technology.
A computer is an inanimate object that only does what it’s told. The computer gets the blame for any problems but the responsibility lies with the person who programmed it. Most computer glitches are human glitches.
You may not like computers but all of us have a one. It’s called the human brain, the greatest computer ever designed. It also relies upon programming. When we were “built” at God’s factory, operations such as conscience, talents, and gut instincts were programmed in. Parents and teachers add social etiquette and cognitive skills.
The human brain is amazing and much more capable than a tangible computer. Computers cannot program themselves yet; although they try to by gathering intuitive information. We sometimes see this function when texting. It’s called “auto-correct” and can be very frustrating, even embarrassing if you hit “send” before editing your message. In this case, the brain trumps the computer.
When data is fed into the brain, it then determines how it will use that data; whether it will accept or reject it. It can enhance or degrade its performance by modifications.
The brain’s capabilities are limited to the quality of the data it receives. It can suffer from GIGO. If you input hatred, unbelief, jealousy, lust, greed, etc. you will get garbage for output. If you input faith, hope, charity, selflessness, etc. and you will get a computer working as it was designed by its “BUILDER,” our Heavenly Father!
As stated before, Paul gives us great advice in Philippians 4:8, And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about. (TLB)