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The Mind Seems To Be Like A Monkey

In last week’s newsletter, I referenced how there is a time to be busy and a time to rest. However, if we are honest with ourselves, rest can be really challenging for many of us.
 
How well do you slow down? How well do you turn off your brain and just be still? Do you see
a value in taking time to be still?
 
As a culture we are terrible at slowing down. A shocking 2014 study done by the University of
Virginia shows people would rather receive an electric shock than sit alone with their thoughts
(pun intended!).
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/07/03/most-men-would-rather- shock-themselves-than-be-alone-with-their-thoughts/
 
These days I have to be very intentional if I want time to be still. I have to make sure I don’t
have a screen or a remote within arm’s reach. The temptation to keep my mind “busy” can be
great, so I must purposefully turn the TV off, leave the phone on the charger, and keep my laptop shut.
 
Alan Watts says this about our minds:
 
“The mind seems to be like a monkey, jumping up and down jabbering all the time. Once
you’ve learned to think you can’t stop. Enormous amounts of people devote their lives to
keeping their minds busy and feel extremely uncomfortable with silence. When you are
alone no one is saying anything to you, and there is nothing to do. There is a real
difficulty in stopping the active mind, but if I think all the time, I won’t have anything to
think about except thoughts. So, in order to have something to think about there are times
you simply must stop thinking.”

 
There is great truth in Alan Watts’ comments, and I would add that in order to listen there are
times you simply must stop thinking.
 
Busyness is a cultural sin, and we are all tempted by it. We must deliberately choose to be still,
and when we do, scripture promises true rest. Please take some intentional time to slow down,
read these scriptures, and seek some rest.
 
There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of Sabbath rest, a day of
sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the Lord
(Leviticus 23:3.)
 
Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. (Ezekiel 20:12.)

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to
eat, Jesus said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark
6:31.)
 
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the
earth (Psalm 46:10.)
 
Yes, my soul, find rest in God: my hope comes from him (Psalm 62:5.)
 
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my
salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken (Psalm 62:1-2.)
 
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience (Hebrews 4: 9-11.)
 
Peace,
Nick