Updated: Mar 16, 2020
A few months ago, I released a video-poem I'd created called 'Wild of Mind'. I thought it'd be good to explore it in more depth and talk about what was behind the poem and what we can all hopefully get out of it...
The poem goes something like this:
My mind is like a wild horse
That I constantly need to tame
And bring back to the road ahead...
The idea to compare the mind/brain to a horse came in the moment I was writing but started a few weeks prior when I saw a breath-taking series of horse photographs on Facebook by someone I'd attended college with. I also wanted to compare it to, not just any type of horse, but a wild one at that. For years in primary, secondary, undergrad and graduate school, I struggled with my focus in class. I could pick up fast enough so I managed to cope over the years. But, recently, I became more aware of how easy it was for me to be 'distracted', for my mind to wander from thought to thought. So, this poem started as just that, a way for me to visually express the struggle of this deficit...
Why would God have created
Such a vast yet beautiful beast?
I’m amazed at the calculations,
The thoughts and the stories
It rides to all on its own...
But I am also wary
Of the dangers it too often faces
When it rides too far from The Path...
Here, 'The Path' represented for me the road that David described in Psalms 25:4 when he said, "Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow". Ecclesiastes 10:2 talks about the idea of the road as well. "A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one". With that image in mind, I wanted to write about how easy it is for my mind to wander off, for my thoughts to go to a place that isn't wise, or right, or pleasing to God.
My mind is a mustang,
Powerful in stride, majestic in flight,
A wild horse only God could’ve found,
Brought back to the ranch
And left in my care...
In this section, I wanted to essentially marvel at and thank God for the brain and the mind. I was completing a one-year master's program when I wrote this. Every week, I was taking part in discussions about the different problems we face today in sanitation, recycling, water, diseases, reproductive health, etc. I was reading and listening to great minds and their wonderful accomplishments. So many things around me screamed and shouted of how beautiful our minds are. Most importantly, I wanted to acknowledge that it is a gift that was given to us, that our responsibility is to take good care of our minds.
My mind is a wild horse...
And constantly fights to run free
In the prairies of pleasure
Where it searches for rivers and streams
To quench its never-ending thirst.
Too many times have I fallen...
Too tired to keep guard,
Forgot to lock the gates,
And found that in the morning,
It had run away to wilderness...
This part of the poem was about recognizing my own brokenness. The idea of a 'Thought Life' was only introduced to me last year. Our 'Thought Life' is all that goes on in our minds, that may or may not necessarily bleed into actions. When our thoughts are left to roam 'free', they tend to set themselves on what makes us happy before ever setting on what makes God happy. To be aware of our thoughts, of the fact that we can and will sin in our minds, is just as important as the 'doing' that can be seen externally. In Philippians 4:8, Paul describes what we should fix our thoughts on: "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". This list I just quoted isn't a 'think positive' encouragement. It's a guide to help us "take our thoughts captive", to keep ourselves from letting our minds wander into what is false and untrue, what is not honorable to God and to others, what God has told us is wrong and not set apart...
Yet it is always in my despair
That your Holy Spirit grabs my arm
Saddles me unto the white horse of redemption
And rides along mountains and hills
To find that horse and bring it back
To God’s sweet and safe pastures...
To say that we can keep our minds on 'The Path' all on our own is foolishness because we are all broken people, people with crutches, people who need help... So, this section was about celebrating the fact that I know I don't have to try and try my best on my own. I know that God sent His Spirit to abide in me, to encourage, strengthen, empower me, and when I fall, to pick me up again.
And when it comes back
My mind is fed, bathed and renewed...
As God brushes away the dirt and filth
From its beautiful black coat
And softly whispers the Truth of His Word,
My mind is brought back
To a place where peace reigns
And where true freedom is home...
Finally, I wanted to describe the amazing feeling of being brought back home to Papa. It's so easy to think, 'If I wasn't Christian, if I decided not to do part or all that the Bible taught, then I'd really have my freedom''... From a human perspective, possibly yes. But, what my 20-year walk with God has taught me is that there is no better place than Home, there is nowhere else that I am freer, happier than under His care.
I hope you enjoyed this post, that it helped you think even more about your own mind and Thought Life. If you have questions, reactions or comments, leave them below. Let's keep the conversation going. Share this post with friends and family and let's stay connected on the Gram!