Habits of the Mind

My wife, Christy, is trying to teach little children to read. 

She’s working on a Master’s degree in reading, and at the same time working for a non-profit called ExCELL, which is all about early literacy.  She’s learning that children often develop an interest in reading if they think of themselves as writers, and so one of the things she is doing is giving little children crayons and scraps of paper and telling them to write down their stories.  Never mind that it looks like a green scribble, the child can tell you exactly what his story is about, and that makes him a writer…of sorts. 

Christy says this is one of those habits of the mind—thinking of yourself as a writer—that can change your whole outlook on life.  I thought about that when I heard Reggie McNeal say last week that instead of members the church needs missionaries.  I wondered what I could do that would make every member of Richmond’s First Baptist Church think of himself or herself as a missionary.  How do you develop that “habit of the mind”?  I don’t know, but I did think about what it would do for me to look out over the congregation on Sunday morning and see all those missionaries gathered there, people who had been out on the mission field during the week trying to bring heaven to earth.  It would inspire me.  I would begin to think there was nothing we couldn’t do.  I would begin to believe we could actually bring heaven to earth, and probably before Easter.

What about you?  What would it do to you to think of yourself as a missionary, and to imagine that place where you live or work as your mission field?  Is that a “habit of the mind” you could develop?  I’ve got a green crayon and a scrap of paper.  Maybe you could write “I am a missionary” on that paper, and then pin it to the front of your shirt. 

Who knows what might happen next?

3 thoughts on “Habits of the Mind

  1. Those precious times that I am with my grandson, who is almost 2 years old, we do lots of reading – he loves books, and of course, I am thrilled about that! I like Christy’s idea about “thinking of yourself as a writer” and I will incorporate that concept during those times with my grandson. He is already into scribbling on his chalk board, as well as some interior walls.

    As far as the missionary thing, I’ve been doing a little bit of that lately. Actually, I’ve been doing it since I joined our church – I sing praises of my church family every chance I get. I caught up with a friend on Facebook (from WAY back in 2nd grade!) and we have become “pen pals” just in this last week. He admitted to me yesterday, that he is atheist – said that he took his children to church when they were growing up, but just cannot accept the God/Jesus thing. I don’t plan to do any “preaching” but I hope to plant a few seeds of thought in a subtle way. He lives in the City, is interested in music and art, and he likes the outdoors . . . hmmmm – maybe I will invite he and his family to our FBC Christmas Market, for starters . . .
    😉

  2. I saw Jim O’Brien at church yesterday wearing a name tag that read, “I am a missionary.” I was thrilled! Now if everybody would wear one or, better yet, be one.

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