“…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8
I’ve been getting Seth Godin’s daily blog in my inbox for at least 4 or 5 years. Usually only a handful of sentences, they’re always inspiring and thought-provoking. They’ve had a major influence on the way I think, but a couple months ago he wrote a blog that showed how it’s had that influence:
Is there anything easier than listening to a lecture or reading a book and taking notes?
And is there anything more difficult than setting aside our preconceptions and the resistance and acting ‘as if’, being open to belief, at least for a moment?
If taking notes is making it easier for you to postpone (or avoid) the possibility of belief, better to put down the pencil and focus.
Facts are easy to come by. Finding a new way to think and a new confidence in our choices is difficult indeed.
My worldview has been shaped way more by “taking belief” than collecting and archiving facts and talking points. Seth’s blog has shaped my thinking not by providing a great set of information, but by showing a different way of seeing. It’s a steady drip-drip-drip of influence over time. For the learner, it’s consistently showing up, day after day, and doing the hard work of remaining open.
I think that’s what Paul was getting at. Find those things that are good, noble, loving, praiseworthy – and focus in on them. Meditate on them, contemplate them, let these things critique your way of seeing. Spend some time meditating on justice for a while, and try to open yourself to how the oppressed see things. Contemplate nobility, and let it slowly reveal areas in your own life where you’re living less than noble. Then be open to change.
Peace and Tenacity,