Blog 2203 – 10.29.2021
Choose Your Thoughts Wisely
We have the choice to live with a constant fear of dread and disaster or with a joyous expectancy of good things coming around every corner. Many years ago I read the book The Robe. Many are familiar with the Richard Burton, Debra Kerr movie version that airs on television every Easter and has since it first came out in the nineteen fifties. As most often is the case, the book is fuller and more detailed than the movie. Both are fictional accounts of the Roman centurion who headed the detail of soldiers assigned to crucify Jesus of Nazareth who was convicted of the trumped up charge of sedition against Caesar, claiming to be not just a god, but the son of the most high God. All throughout the Roman Empire only Caesar was allowed to proclaim himself a god. Jesus actually taught that we are all gods, but more specifically God’s. Whatever else you think of Jesus, the man, he knew Who and Whose he was.
In the story, The Robe, the centurion ends up with the robe of Jesus that his men threw dice for because it was a one piece homespun garment of some value. Thinking it was infused with some magical power the centurion makes himself quite mad with thoughts about it and the man who wore it. The centurion is given permission by the Emperor to return from Rome to Judaea and investigate the new religious cult that has risen up regarding this Jesus whom his followers claim has risen from the grave and has promised to return.
So the centurion interviews the witnesses to see for himself if their story seems credible. I remember one of the interviewees saying that he lived in a constant state of joy and anticipation expecting to see Jesus around every corner. Most of the people who ever lived and are alive today have not heard the story of Jesus and though I once was taught to believe that everyone had to hear and believe that story to be “saved” it seems to me today to be quite a presumptuous, outlandish, and impossible thought.
I have for some years now had on the front of my pickup a sign that I will have to remove when I register the truck in Texas, because the state requires front and back license plates. The sign reads, “Think Happy Thoughts.” The follower of Jesus in the above story was a man who thought happy thoughts. Sadly Most Christians I have met do not. Christianity for most is just another “guilt religion” with a world going to hell in a hand basket and where the favorite Jesus quote of many Christians seems to be “There will always be wars and rumors of wars.” I don’t think so. What we think is what we believe and what we believe becomes reality in our lives.
We get to choose what thoughts we dwell on. We can choose to live in fear of dread and disaster always looming or we can choose to think goodness and light awaits us around every turn in the road. We can choose to sing “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrows” or on a more positive note sing instead, “The Joy Of The Lord My Strength.” I have sung both, but I prefer to dwell on the second. The choice is yours to make for yourself. Don’t let the television pundits, teachers, preachers, or politicians make it for you, or even me.
That guy in the white pick-up behind you, not following too close, but giving you lots of room is me. Can you read that plate backwards in your rear view mirror? It says, “Think Happy Thoughts.” Give it a try, you might grow to like it. What have you got to lose but the blues?
Your friend and fellow traveler,
I Am I A Man Of Constant Sorrows
The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength