Most people don't take mystics seriously, because mystics don't seem to take life seriously. They're different and disengaged from the normal pace of life. That's why we see them as mystics.
But I think mystics are more plugged in than we think. Mystics can be mindful in a practical way.
Mystics as change agents
As a culture, whether US Americans or the western world in general, we prize people who are change agents. People who impact life in some beneficial way.
Change agents aren't always popular until after a beneficial change takes place. In fact, some memorable ones have been killed for the change they sought. Some modern examples are Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. These men were also mystics in their own right. They believed in God and saw beyond what everyone else saw, which moved them to become change agents.
There are plenty of biblical examples of mystics who were change agents—Moses, King David, and John the Baptist are more notable ones. Their relationship with God seemed to exceed the norm, and they were often misunderstood.
God worked through their lives and brought significant change. I don't have time to expand on this, but if you read about their lives in the Scriptures, it's apparent.
Last week I started looking at what mindfulness is, especially the popular version of it. I posed a question about this popular pursuit of mindfulness—is it really mindfulness or mindlessness?
This week I want to consider how mindfulness can be spiritual and practical. When mindfulness includes both elements, it enables people to become change agents. I see this as Jesus' intent for His followers from the beginning. He said His followers would do "greater works" (John 14:12).
The final instructions Jesus gave His followers spoke of them as change agents in the world (Acts 1:8). It is also known as the Great Commission (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15). An essential part of Jesus' followers being change agents is to be filled with the power and presence of God's Spirit (Luke 24:46-49).
How can we be mindful mystics?
My perennial question with most everything is how? How could a person be a spiritual mystic and a change agent? Is it really possible? If so, how would that happen?
Perhaps some wonder why they would want to or need to be a mindful mystic. That's a fair question too, but I'll let you figure that out for yourself.
Some simple suggestions on ways to be mindful—
- Be in tune with God—disengage from preoccupation with yourself and others.
- Be still with God— spend some time in quietness, so you can listen and be receptive to God's Spirit.
- Be reflective—throughout the day, take time to be thoughtful, considerate, and empathetic.
- Be attentive—as you go about life be alert, observant, and seek to have the eyes and heart of Jesus.
- Be awed—with God and in life, by both the simple and majestic around you.
- Be humble—have a humble and surrendered heart to the Lord. (Matt 11:29; Phil 2:5)
- Be ready and responsive—neither controlled by, nor trying to control, the circumstances and situations of life.
- Be engaged—do what you do with all your heart, mind and soul. (1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17)
How can you get to a place where this becomes more reality than theory?
- Learn to still your heart before God in prayer, so He can fill your heart with His presence. (Psalms 46:10a; 131:2)
- Take your thoughts captive and surrender them to the Lord, and fill your mind with the truth of His Word. (2 Cor 10:5; Rom 12:2; Col 3:10)
- Respond to Jesus and His call to follow Him daily (Luke 9:23), and be surrendered to Him and filled with God's Spirit.
Not a checklist, but a way of life
This is not a checklist to follow, but a guide for how to be mindful in the daily flow of life. These are not things to perform, but ways to engage with God and His creation, so you can be a mindful mystic and change agent.
It's the way of life Christian believers are called to, and what our hearts long for though we may not realize it. Do any of the above suggestions ring true for you?
How have you found it possible to grow in personal intimacy with the Lord, yet carry on with everyday life? If so, I'd like to hear from you.
If you'd like to know my own thoughts about Christian mysticism, click on this link– Mystics-mysticism.