the Yard of Our Mind

Chaplain, Roger Button

Good morning, I pray the day finds you well. I was sitting on my front porch the other morning, and as the sun started to come up and illuminate the front yard I noticed a mole hill. I looked at this mole hill with amazement. I wondered where it came from. As I looked around I did not see any other mole hills nearby. How did it get there?

Did the mole dig underground for a very long way just to make a mole hill in my yard?

Did it risk running over the top of the ground for a long way just to dig a hole in my yard.

I contemplated this for a long time.

Eventually, I knew that I would have to get rid of the mole hill, along with the mole that made this mole hill. I was torn by this thought, but knew that I would have to get rid of this mole or I would end up with many mole hills in my yard. I had witnessed this phenomenon before. On my drive to the Y I pass a number of homes that started with a mole hill, they did nothing and eventually their entire yard was full of mounds and corresponding holes.

I left for the Y that morning with every intention of getting rid of that mole when I got home.

But the day got in the way. I came home late and had totally forgotten about the mole and his hill.

The next morning I walked out onto my front porch to find six new hills.

I resolved myself to get rid of that mole, or moles that night when I got home.

But the day got in the way, I got home late and hadn’t even thought about the mole and his hills.

I walked out onto my porch the following morning and my yard was full of mole hills, now my yard looked just like those other yards that I drove past on my way to the Y. I sat in my chair, on my front porch, in total shock and amazement. How did this happen?

Then a still small voice said, “your yard is a lot like the mind. An abhorrent thought comes across your mind, and you say, ‘I shouldn’t be thinking this. Yet don’t do anything about it. The thought eventually leaves and you forget about it. Later, that thought comes back into your head a little stronger, you think about it longer, and you say to yourself, ‘I shouldn’t be thinking about this.’ Yet you don’t do anything about it. A little later that thought is in your head full on and you think, ‘how did this go so far?’ Your yard is not so different than your thought life. If you don’t take care of it, your thought life will be full of mole hills too.”

So often in our Y we have people that come to us that are having real problems in their lives. If we are simply a place for people to work out, swim or play basketball, then their problems remain their own. But what if we are more than just a place for people to come? What if we actually work with them to become better? What if we become that place where people build a healthy spirit, mind and body? If we are to do that, then we had better get our minds right too.

My prayer is that we take care of the yard of our minds. That we take the time getting rid of the little mole hills before our minds become infested with dirt. Lord, please help us and remind us that you are there to talk with, to contemplate with, and to keep our thoughts on the things above and not on earthly things.

In the Bible, Paul wrote, “since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things—Colossians 3:1–2.