The rabbit population of the UK has increased considerably in recent years following the devastation to the population caused by disease and changes in farming methods. But whether you think rabbits a pest or like to see them as part of the rich pageant of the English country side, they are hard to miss. No doubt most of you have seen rabbit warrens in hedgerows, fields, parks and a myriad other places. Once whilst out on a walk I passed by one particularly extensive warren. Not being the quietest of walkers, the rabbits quickly scattered and disappeared down the nearest available hole at my approach. One in particular shot down a rather large hole, which caught my attention because the holes are not usually that large. So being curious, I took a closer look, from about 1 foot down (0.3 metre) the hole was studded with assorted bits of rubbish, broken brick, bottles, plastic bags, jars etc. The rabbits had widened the hole in an attempt to dislodge the rubbish, but instead had ended up having to negotiate an obstacle course of rubbish in order to enter or exit the warren and hence why the mouth of the hole was so large. The hole was testimony to the amount of rubbish carelessly discarded in hedgerows for many years.
Again, whilst out on a walk along a disused canal it was very easy to note the foam on the surface of the water where land drains emitted the run off from fields. The foam is caused by excessive nitrates and other pollutants in the water. Walking on a beach one year, I trod on what looked like a ripple in the sand, only to find my foot covered in black tar like oil. Our environment is a delicate balance of nature which mankind is polluting with disastrous results. Pollution is responsible for the destruction of plant and animal life, global warming and disease. There are vast swaths of land fill sites vomiting methane gas and other forms of pollution into the soil. Rivers become so polluted that fish die and there is a rise in asthma and other diseases because of atmospheric pollution, the list could go on. The point is that the beauty and delicate balance of nature is destroyed because of mankind’s mismanagement of his environment.
But for all this, there is a far greater danger that is ever present for each and every one of us, something that might be termed ‘mind pollution’.
Our minds are constantly bombarded with the noise and clamour of the world in one way or another, yet we willingly add to this cacophony! We mismanage our minds! I met a man recently who quite openly said that he always had a radio, TV or CD on so that he was never alone with his own thoughts. How sad!
Little time is set aside for thoughtful contemplation and self examination. Yet we all have a great need to redress the balance. Like nature, the good fertile soil of our minds will become totally unproductive in the Truth, if we are constantly filling it with rubbish. Or like the poor rabbit having to dig around all the discarded junk, our thoughts about the scriptures will become equally hard to negotiate if we have to constantly dig out the junk to make headway. It is bad enough when we must do this for reasons beyond our control, let alone inflicting it upon ourselves. The problem is that human nature is so good at mindlessly creating rubbish.
Just imagine that your mind is like a fertile hedge row and God takes a close look, seeking to find something that He can take pleasure in. What will be seen? Will He find a mind cluttered up with the discarded litter of humanistic thought, the latest gossip, and the day to day trivia that pervades everyday life? On the other hand, will he find healthy growth, balance and harmony, a peaceful environment in harmony with its Creator? Will He find a small reflection of His Divine characteristics within our minds? It will in the best of us, be but a pale reflection, but non-the-less it should be present.
So what does the scripture say that we should do?
“Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms” (James 5:13)
There is no other way of preventing ‘mind pollution’ other than to fill the mind with the things of God. Think of His way when in need and pray. Think of His goodness when happy and sing praise. Think of His Word when in need of guidance and obey it.
Here are some more words that we do well to meditate upon and put into practice:
“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” (Phil. 4:8)
In other words, fill your minds with the Word of God day by day. Meditate upon His wisdom, His mercy, His love.Think carefully about the examples of the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ that Paul describes in Hebrews 11. Think of the great Apostle Paul himself, as an example to follow:
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4:9)
Meditate daily about the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who is altogether pure, lovely, praiseworthy, admirable and noble.Do this and we are promised that God will be with us.
Such thoughts will drive out and purge away the pollution of humanistic thought:
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Tim 2:21)
What sort of mind do you have?