We are breaking new ground to begin excavation work for our church building. The Soil and Water Conservation Service is very concerned that it is done properly, to prevent erosion.
Sometimes our minds are like dry ground, rutted by erosion, with grooves that channel the water that runs over it. Mentally, we always seem to follow the same grooves. We get into a particular way of thinking, perhaps seeing only what we want to see or thinking about only what we want to think about. Events, values and memories are forced into the same grooves, cutting them even deeper.
Paul used different imagery to describe the mental rut. He wrote that for some people, their minds are set on the sinful nature. Since their minds are set that way, they live their lives according to the sinful nature. In contrast, Paul wrote, "Those who live in accordance to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit." Romans 8:5 If our disposition is toward the things of the Spirit, our lives will show it.
In exasperation, someone may rebuke us with the words, "What were you thinking about?" That could be a theological question! It strikes at the heart of our actions, our mind-set.
Later on, in his letter to the Romans, Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you many discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
Being transformed by the renewing of my mind will eliminate those ruts!