In the movie “A Beautiful Mind" John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) is a schizophrenic math genius who struggles with is inability to have peace of mind. In one scene he bangs his head on the window until it bleeds, begging his mind to slow down, all the while having a conversation with his imaginary roommate, Charles.
Now hopefully none of us are schizo (and if you are keep it to yourself), but at end of the summer we all could probably bang our heads against a wall wanting to quiet our minds and take a break. By now the kids are going back to school, too many chicken breasts on the grill and the daily downpours and humidity make life crazy. In a funny way, the last thing on our mind, but the thing we want most, is just a little peace and quiet.
While such a simple act, Jesus knew the importance of quiet time. There are numerous accounts in the Bible of Jesus going into total solitude and prayer for rejuvenation. To bad we all don’t have forty days to spare. For most of us, we just can’t seem to get a moment alone. Kids, jobs, errands you name it, the demands of life are relentless. Do you know after a twenty year study they have found through technology that we have more time for ourselves today than back then? 1.5 hours to be exact. Giving yourself even ten minutes of quiet time is like investing money in the bank. It pays dividends long-term, if not immediately.
Our minds are remarkable instruments, and the creator of our minds made them to work best in their simplest form. Some of the things Jesus practiced to make his life simpler were: delegation of duties; he had only a few friends he confided in (with this came less demands on his time), practiced good listening skills, spent time in nature, and maybe most important had a servant’s heart.
We may never have a beautiful intellectual mind as that of John Nash, but we can give ourselves a wonderful gift of a simple mind by allowing it to rest each day. The biggest challenge for us this week may not be meeting a deadline at work, or making sure the kids have their school clothes for the year, it just may be in the slowing down of our minds. Give yourself one of the greatest things you can this week, the gift of a simple mind. In turn you may just see how beautiful life can be.
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