by Jesse L. Smith
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“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” -Psalms 19:14
One of the first tasks assigned to me as a new Chemist at Microgenics, Inc. was to sit down and ‘watch’ a graduated cylinder filled with about a liter of clear watery fluid. My instant reaction to the task – beside wondering why I ever even went to college, was to question the purpose behind it all. My supervisor then proceeded to explain that this was a recently purified antibody solution that was worth about forty thousand dollars! It was going to be my job both to purify and handle these solutions – and the thought of that liter of fluid tipping over and splashing onto the floor of the lab filled me with the most ominous sense of dread. Considering the value of the material I was going to be working with, I became very conscious and concerned about losses that occurred during the purification process.
One of the greatest sources of loss during the purification process was simply transferring the solution from one container to another. Every time such a transfer happened, some of the antibody in the solution would remain bound to the sides of the container. To minimize these losses we would rinse the container, but it seemed that no matter how much you rinsed the container some of the antibody was forever lost. At the end of every purification I would look forward to measuring the amount of antibody that had been saved, and was always thinking about ways to improve the process. As the months passed I managed to make minor improvements until one day I had a revelation – the best way to save antibody was to never empty the container!
Instead of emptying the container, I would add rinse to the antibody solution while taking away fluid from the container at the same time. As I did this, the concentration of antibody remaining in the container would decrease – until there was basically nothing left! It seemed strange that the best way to rinse out the container was not to first empty it out, but rather to add to it. As long as the container was filled with water, the antibody would remain suspended in the solution – but as soon as the water was poured out, the remaining antibody would be bound nearly irreversibly to the dry walls of the container.
To a large degree, our minds are a lot like the antibody containers that I worked with! The success or failure of our lives depends entirely on what is going on inside our minds. In Romans 8:6 Paul wrote, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Knowing that truth and practicing it however can be two very different things! Life is filled with circumstances that produce fear and anxiety, and meditating on those circumstances only makes things worse. It seems that a reasonable approach to dealing with all of those thoughts is to ‘empty’ yourself of them, or decide not to think about them at all. The truth is however, every time you have to tell yourself “I won’t think about this”, you just have thought about it!
In God’s wisdom, He hasn’t commanded us to ‘be emptied’ but rather to ‘be filled’! Ephesians 5:18-19 says,”…be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord.” You will find that living a victorious life isn’t a matter of ‘not thinking’ about things, but rather of ‘thinking’ about the right things. As you fill your mind and heart with good things, and you focus on His Word, the ‘concentration’ of those negative controlling thoughts will be reduced – and ultimately washed away.
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