Keys to the Kingdom
My brother (retired senior pastor) kept a jar of marbles on his church office desk just for a witty conversation piece. The thing that brought grins and chuckles from his parishioners was the sign posted beside it: “Lost your marbles? Take a few.” Randy’s container had Pee Wees, Shooters, and Boulders; the most-popular marble that people chose was the cat’s eye Shooter. Although I’ve never played the game, I have a few marbles of my own. “Losing your marbles” is a familiar colloquialism. If you’ve said or done something goofy, you may have even had a good friend ask, “Have you lost your marbles?!”
We all have days when we do ridiculously-stupid stuff and an eyewitness would probably think we’ve lost our marbles. I can use myself to illustrate this point. Many years ago, I was preparing to go somewhere and I placed my camera on top of the car as I loaded everything. Silly story short, I later found the smashed-to-smithereens camera on the road a half mile from my house. Needless to say, I didn’t take any pictures that day. I can recall two different times when I attempted to make sweet tea using salt. That didn’t turn out well at all. Now for the most-recent scatterbrained example: After I had written, proofed, tweaked, and saved this column for publishing, I opened it up several days later and accidentally deleted it. Poof! The document was gone like a ‘57 Chevy — so I had to rebuild it from scratch. I sure could’ve used one of my brother‘s marbles that day!
Sometimes it’s quite a challenge to get all your marbles in a row and keep ‘em there. Once they get loose, they’re liable to roll anywhere. The Bible speaks plainly about the mind of believers. “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). If our thoughts are causing anxiety, we’re probably not rejecting the lies, fears, and doubts that Satan throws at us. God gives believers the power to have a sound mind which enables us to be at peace in troubling situations.
Christians have to actively control what we allow into our minds. Understanding the following scripture may dissuade us from watching the news 24-7: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 NLT). Fixing our minds on good news (what God says in His Word) is crucial. Not focusing on bad news is also crucial if we want God’s peace in our life. Jesus said that He was leaving His own peace with us, which is the real thing and not an imitation peace that the devil offers. “I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLT).
The biblical and common-sense approach to life is found in this scripture: “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 AMP). Believers are to entrust their lives and everything in life to their all-wise and loving heavenly Father. We can rest easy knowing we can rely on Him to take care of our every need.
The Key: God knows how to keep your marbles from scattering and getting lost.