Imagine you have just entered the most amazing home, a place straight out of Better Homes and Gardens. Everything in this home is perfect. The floor plan seamlessly flows from one room to the next. The color scheme is awe-inspiring. The flooring is spectacular. The window treatments are second to none. The elegant furnishings could not be more perfect. And plants! Beautiful plants everywhere! So spectacular is the environment, you have never been in such a peaceful place. Truly the interior designer has held nothing back in outfitting this home.
As you marvel at this home, there in the middle of the living room floor, you discover a pair of dirty socks. A flood of thoughts invade you mind. “Dirty socks in a place like this?” “What are they doing here?” “Those don’t belong here!” “Doesn’t anyone care what this looks like?” “Who is going to do something about this?”
As much as you try to block the dirty socks out of your mind, you can’t. As beautiful as the environment is, your mind is drawn back to the living room floor. You cannot enjoy the serenity of the home because what you have just seen is so out of place.
Have you noticed how easy it is to be consumed by the ugliness of our world? A gunman entering the midnight showing of a movie theater. A faithful soldier stepping on an explosive buried in the sand. Disgusting things happening in a university locker room. It is not difficult to look around and discover “dirty socks” everywhere.
But can I challenge you to focus your eyes elsewhere? Can we as a community commit to putting these words into practice?
“Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8-9
And there are plenty of such things to think about. The astounding beauty of creation. The ongoing consistency of nature. The precious joy of family. The encouragement of close friends. The admirable and excellent things. That list is unending.
So let’s not let our thoughts be consumed by dirty socks. Let’s look a bit higher and allow our minds to dwell on the glorious, the spectacular, the wonderful. There is too much splendor, to have it overshadowed by lesser things. That is where our minds need to stay.