Mortals love portals! Technically speaking, on the one hand portals refer to gateways, doors and openings. On the other, a portal specifically means a website or web page providing access or links to other sites. It is a word that has grown in popularity and breadth of application to include video games and various secure log-in technologies. How do you understand the word? What portals would you say that you use or rely on for your everyday life or for the deeper things? With the rapid changes, today’s technology will be yesterday’s technology tomorrow! You need multiple connections to keep up but even those portals for mortals are soon out of date.
- ‘A portal is a transitionary device of sight or sound that functions as a sort of third gravitating body between the this and the that, pulling us toward itself, allowing us to bridge into the unknown from the known’ – Roy H Williams
- ‘Every portal coming into this country is being attacked by those who would harvest information, both national security secrets and just the common information of private individuals. That crime is going on, every day, on a single entity known as the Internet’ – Darrell Issa
- ‘We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connection’ – Sherry Turkle
- ‘Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of the spiritual life begins where we are now in the mess of our lives’ – Mike Yaconelli
If your brain equates to your CPU (Central Processing Unit), then your eyes are the cameras that capture the action of your life and the ears are the microphones that deliver the audio feed. Now the data you take in gets stored on the hard drive and this can create problems which bring business for computer repair shops. Whilst the ‘tech-savvy’ can wipe physical hard drives and install virus software, wiping the mind from harmful images and hurtful words is not so easy.
- ‘Words can be more hurtful than anything physically. I got little kids, and it's common sense when you're raising them that the main thing is how you talk to people, and how you treat people. Sometimes I think the world forgets that as we get older’ – Eric Church
- ‘I hope people will see how harmful words are and how irresponsible we can be when saying the wrong things at the wrong time to certain people’ – John David Washington
- ‘Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission’ – Arnold Bennett
- ‘It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don't agree. The wounds remain. Time - the mind, protecting its sanity - covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone’ – Rose Kennedy
The old adage was that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but your words can’t hurt me’! To believe that lie would be naïve! People often have a recurring ‘inner tape’ they listen to which replays words that have hurt deeply, affecting relationships and self-worth. Images too can haunt a person and scar the tender fabric of our minds as any counsellor will tell you after a day’s work. What’s to be done?
- ‘Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you’ – Luke 11:34-36
- ‘But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge – do not give me over to death. Keep me safe from the traps set by evildoers, from the snares they have laid for me. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by in safety’ – Psalm 141:8-10
- ‘So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal’ – 2 Corinthians 4:18
- ‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’ – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
We must guard the portals to our minds and that has to be an intentional decision. It is not always easy for the lures set before us are seductive. Paul writes in Romans 7 about the struggle common for every child of God between the old nature which he calls ‘flesh’ and the new which is our spiritual inner being. In Romans 8, he declares there is no condemnation for those who belong to God and outlines how we should choose not to ‘live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit’ (v4). The daily choice is there for us moment by moment but God is able to do a reset as we keep looking to Jesus.
- ‘I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more’ – Isaiah 43:25
- ‘And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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’ – Philippians 4:7-9
Your mind is ‘a sacred enclosure’ – if you fill it with fragrance and light, you will carry the fragrance of Christ and his light. Best to choose carefully what to plug into – your CPU needs you to be a wise guardian of your portals.
TAGS – sanctification, justification, holiness, righteousness, forgiveness