Last summer while on our 50th wedding anniversary cruise, we visited Gibraltar, a British territory. While up on “the Rock,” we had to walk through an area with a very low clearance. On either side of the opening was the warning “Mind Your Head.”
Apparently, this is a decidedly British expression, because in London there is a sign when riding the Tube, “Mind The Gap.” ” It’s a warning for you to watch your step so you don’t fall into the space between the platform and the train.
However, “mind” was used this way by a previous generation. I can recall as a kid my mother scolding me saying, “mind your manners.”
In these three cases “mind” means “to pay attention to.” When we are mindful of our circumstances, surroundings, or others around us, we are alert. Aware. And attentive.
The Bible often admonishes God’s people to be mindful of their spiritual responsibilities and attentive to spiritual pitfalls and problems. The ESV uses the word “attention.”
Moses, after issuing the various commandments and statutes to Israel, instructed, “Pay attention to all that I have said to you” (Ex 23:13).
Isaiah, and other Old Testament prophets often admonished God’s people in this way. “Give ear, and hear my voice; give attention, and hear my speech” (Isa 28:23).
Jesus often exhorted his disciples to “Pay attention to what you hear” (Mk 4:24).
The apostle Paul gently encouraged the Shepherds of the Ephesian church, to “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers” (Ax 20:28).
To those who were in danger of falling away, the Hebrew writer warned, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Heb 2:1).
In a culture that often mindlessly rushes headlong into secular pursuits, carnal activities, and blatantly sensual behaviors, we must ever pay attention to keep our minds pure, our hearts holy, and our bodies free from the hedonistic lifestyle of the world.
Are you paying attention to what you are watching on TV? Are you mindful of your reading material? Are you cautious when surfing the internet and the web sites you visit? Are you prudent about the habits you are developing? Are you careful about the kind of friends you have? Are you discreet regarding your relationships with the opposite sex?
Parents need to pay attention to the spiritual training and well-being of their children.
Pastors must be attentive to the souls of the flock for which they are entrusted.
Preachers must give attention to preaching the whole counsel of God.
All Christians need to be mindful of Satan’s schemes. Be on guard. Watchful. And attentive.
I recently read a story about an unemployed, St. Louis cleaning woman who noticed a few bees buzzing around the attic of her home. Since they were only a few she ignored them. However, during the summer the bees continued to fly in and out the attic vent while the woman remained unconcerned, unaware of the growing city of bees.
Finally, the entire attic became a hive, and the ceiling of the second-floor bedroom finally caved in under the weight of hundreds of pounds of honey and thousands of angry bees. While the woman escaped serious injury, she was unable to repair the damage of her accumulated neglect.
Little things that may not seem to be a big problem may eventually crash down on you and create a situation that’s difficult, if not impossible to repair.
Mind your head. Mind your soul. Mind the Lord.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman