A couple of years ago, a grandfather clock my wife inherited was set up and made operational in our home. Not having ever been in the presence of a grandfather clock for any great length of time, I was afraid that I would be caught in a Tell-Tale Heart scenario, being driven mad on a daily basis by the incessant tick, tick, tick. In addition, the clock chimes every quarter hour. It took less than two full days to realize that my fears were completely unfounded. Not only do I not hear the clock ticking, there are times when I do not even hear the clock chime. That was the case this morning. I was less than twenty five feet from the clock, engaging in my morning routine of reading in the absolute dead silence of the early morning hours. I sat down at the top of the hour and fifty minutes later it occurred to me that I had not heard the clock chime on the fifteen minute intervals. I glanced over to ensure the pendulum was swinging and it was. I know the clock had to have chimed but could not believe that I was not consciously aware of it; not once, not twice, but three times. At the top of the next hour, with my attention fixed on the clock, I indeed heard the chimes.
I am fully aware that the human brain takes in a tremendous amount of information on the unconscious level and far less on the conscious level, but what really struck me this morning was that I could get so accustomed to something, in this case a noise, that my conscious brain no longer finds it important enough to register. In relation to a clock chiming this is no big deal, but then I started thinking about other things I am missing because I have grown so accustomed to them. How I interact with my wife and kids; am I so accustomed that I miss their chimes, such as needs, desires and hurts? Am I so accustomed to my drive to work that I pay so little attention that I could put myself and others in danger? Do I "sleepwalk" through the day (daily routine) because everything is so familiar that I can do most things without thinking too deeply at all?
There is so much going on around us, but we can only focus on one things at a time. Be purposeful about what you focus on. Rather than just floating through each day on auto-pilot, be purposeful about what you think. Ephesians chapter 4 talks about putting off the old self and being renewed in the spirit of your mind. This means to consciously think about what you think about. Don't just let garbage float into your mind unchecked. Only watch, listen to and read things that add value to you, get rid of everything that does not add value.
Remember to "Set Your Mind" each morning by deciding what you will allow to enter your mind. And remember, we are what we continually think about.