This is one of those few occasions when I love Paul. He clearly states, in Romans 12:2, “Don’t conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your minds, so that you can judge what God’s will is – what is good, pleasing and perfect.” And how do we renew our minds? By trying new things, going new places, listening to different viewpoints.
(To hear the full audio version of this sermon, click here.)
In the movie Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams plays a literature professor who, at one point, stands up on his desk and says to the class, “Just when you think you know something, you must look at it in a different way.” And then he has all his students climb up on his desk to experience a different view before they are dismissed. Excellent!
To be transformed in our personal, professional or spiritual lives, we cannot be stagnant, predictable, stuck in routines and habits, closed-minded or fearful. Transformation, epiphanies, growth, “aha” moments, are more likely to happen when we’ve risked, stepped out of our comfort zone, sought out new information and ideas, and tried to see things from a new perspective.
Sunday morning I illustrated this to the kids by standing on my head. Things look completely different when standing on one’s head. Just try it! So, metaphorically, we need to practice standing on our heads. It’s so easy to fall into the same routines, or ruts. We eat the same six meals, drive the same routes day after day, go to the same restaurants, hang with the same people, read the same authors, travel to the same places. Not to mention we conform to church rules and expectations as well as societal and gender norms. How will that renew our minds and transform our souls? Well, it might, but it was Einstein who said something like, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
So, don’t conform! Do something new today and as many days as you can. Seek out new thoughts about the Divine, learn about a different religion, try a new spiritual practice, talk to someone about their spiritual journey. Explore, grow, renew your mind! Truly amazing things can happen.
Love & Light,