Pressure. Worry. Anxiety. Fear. Dread.
The human brain – 3 pounds and 15 centimeters of incredible processing power. About the size of two clenched fists, which may be a fitting comparative measurement for many of us. Lots of us go through life clenching our minds. That’s the opposite of having or getting our minds right.
I think about the Old Testament figure, King Saul. Early in his reign, with Samuel as his mentor, Saul was a great warrior for Israel. He conquered enemies and made progress in creating a nation out of the twelve tribes. Then David entered the picture. Saul began to show signs of emotional distress and anxiety. According to 1 Samuel 16:14, it was made worse because God’s Spirit left him due to his own self-centeredness. Ironically, only David’s harp playing drove the demon away (verse 23).
Growing up it was my first encounter with the power of music in helping us get our minds right. I’ve wondered what influence that has on my lifelong love affair with music. I know this much…my life would be significantly less calm, less thoughtful, and less whatever else might describe good feelings without it. As I write this I’m listening to Jackson Browne’s latest record, Downhill From Everywhere. No, I don’t agree with his liberal politics, but that’s just a perspective rather than some agenda ’cause I’m apolitical. Jackson is very political, but I love his voice and the music. I can overlook what I disagree with and enjoy the man’s talent. When it comes to music, I’m able to keep my mind right. 😉
I can’t think of any phrase involving “getting your mind right” without thinking of Strother Martin’s character in Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman.
Paul Newman’s character, Luke, is on a prison chain gang. He’s popular with the other inmates. He’s also constantly escaping, but he refused to break under the pressure of the warden, played by Strother Martin. But the guards and the warden are constantly exhorting Luke to “get his mind right.” Translation, stop giving us trouble. Just do as you’re told.
Well, I don’t mean it that way. So let’s talk about what it really means to have your mind right by first talking about having your mind wrong.
P.S. There is a place where I’m better able to get my mind right. It’s why I started a new podcast about 60 days ago – HotSpringsVillageInsideOut.com.