In the context of being one on a journey home to the Father, mindfulness, to me, connotes full consciousness, awareness, and a deliberateness of thought that lets me know whether what I am thinking, saying, and doing leads to Him or away from Him—that facilitates forward progress or loss of yards to use two football expressions.
In order to act with mindfulness, I’m thinking I need to have a full mind. So…., of what should my mind be full?
Ideally, it will be full of what Jesus’ mind is full…. And yet, my mind is limited (understatement!) in its capacity to think as God thinks:
“… My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8-9)
What God revealed in the Old Testament about His thoughts versus our thoughts still holds true in the New Testament. In Mark 8:33, for example, Jesus even admonished St. Peter for thinking like man and not like God.
Admittedly, then, hard as I try, I simply cannot have the same Infinite Mindset as has Jesus.
Yet, Jesus said He came to teach us “everything [He] learned from [His] Father” (John 15:15). In that light, I think, Jesus wants to reveal His Mind to us; He wants us to think His thoughts.
Thus, while referring to and acknowledging the reality of Isaiah 40:13, St. Paul could say what has to be possible for Jesus’ disciples, with the aid of His Holy Spirit:
“For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Acknowledging my limitations, then, nonetheless, I need to try immersing myself in the teachings of Christ so that I might know what thoughts please Him; lead to Him and through Him—to the Father.
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, for example, we are being asked to have a heightened awareness of God’s Mercy, which Jesus spoke about and modeled. I think it’s not impossible to know what Jesus thinks about works of mercy. In fact, He made it clear that showing mercy to our brothers and sisters (as He described in the Beatitudes and in the Final Judgment) is the litmus test of being His faithful disciple.
I know, too, that Jesus kept things simple. He reduced the laws to two: Love God. Love neighbor as love self. …Whatever conforms with that love leads me forward; whatever rebels against/violates that love leads me backwards….( forward progress or loss of yards).
I know, too, that Jesus came to do His Father’s Holy Will. He came to serve. He came to obey. And through His obedience, He saved us.
“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance he humbled himself becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2: 5-8)
And while it is a tall order for me to keep on top of holy mindfulness–that is consciously, deliberately doing what St. Paul admonishes in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “…take every thought captive in obedience to Christ”– it seems easier (less intimidating, less onerous, actually pleasant!) for me to have the mindfulness St. Paul describes in Philippians 2:8:
“…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
So that is what I will do. I will be mindful of the Word of God, Who is Jesus, and I will think about Him. And based on those thoughts, whatever resultant things I think, say, or do–please God–will be with a mindfulness that is in conformity with His thinking.