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By Bishop Tracy S. Malone
January 30, 2018
Over the years, I have used mantras as part of my spiritual centering and they have played a significant role in my devotional life. My mantra for 2018 is “think higher, feel deeper.” I heard these words a few years ago while listening to Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Prize-winning writer, professor and activist, when he appeared on the Super Soul Sunday show.
I was reminded of these words while I was reading Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 and the God of peace will be with you.” This passage of scripture and mantra “think higher, feel deeper” provide a biblical and theological framework for how we are expected to think, behave, relate and act in response to our relationship with God, self and neighbor.
Everyday we make choices! Every minute we find ourselves making decisions – sometimes easy and sometimes difficult. From should I answer this call or respond to this text or email to how do I provide care for my aging parents or how do I manage the increasing demands on my limited resources? No matter the circumstances or the situation, we all have to live with the burden of choice. I refer to it as a burden because no one has the luxury of not choosing or making decisions. Even when someone chooses to do nothing, they are making a choice. And every choice has a consequence, good or bad.
So here’s what I invite you to do: Choose to ‘think higher, feel deeper’ in 2018!!
Love, serve and live like you believe that through Christ all things are possible! Be bold, courageous and adventurous as you find new and meaningful ways to be in relationship and ministry with all people, including the poor, the hurting and the marginalized, in your community.
Use your imagination! Focus on what resources you do have and not on those that you do not have. Claim what you can do for others and refrain from dwelling on what you cannot do.
Have deeper conversations! Talk about racism, sexism, poverty, addiction, unity, a Way Forward, etc. – and discuss concrete ways to address these issues.
Get out of the box! Choose to not allow your observations and experiences of "the worst" of some people become the lens by which you judge other people. Choose to re-examine your perspective, opinion, bias and discrimination of others.
I am convinced that when we allow ourselves to think differently, to see and experience people differently, we will treat people differently and feel more deeply about them.
May the love of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit bring out the very best of who we are and give us the courage to think higher and feel deeper.
Bishop Tracy S. Malone
Resident Bishop to the
East Ohio Conference
Executive Secretary to the Bishop
Rev. Ed Peterson
Executive Assistant to the Bishop
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