Chief Inspector Gamache, in A Rule Against Murder, confronts an old man who claims to have never been a prisoner of war. Gamache has the evidence to prove otherwise.
Gamache: “Why did you say you weren’t a prisoner?”
Old Man: “I wasn’t a prisoner…. You were right, I was in a Japanese prison camp, but I wasn’t a prisoner. It’s not semantics…. It’s an important distinction…. I saw a lot of men die there. Do you know what killed them…? They believed themselves to be prisoners. I…ate the same maggot-infested food, slept in the same beds, did the same back-breaking work. But they died and I lived. Do you know why?”
Gamache: “You were free.”
Old Man: “I was free. Milton was right, you know. The mind is its own place. I was never a prisoner. Not then, not now.”
My mind is a place. It can be governed. It can be cultivated. It can be invaded and ruled over by enemies… if I permit. I can choose to let Christ farm my mind, to weed, prune, sow and fertilize it. As a new creation in Christ, I can choose a daily date with Jesus. When I see Him, something transformative happens in me. As I behold the glory of the Lord, I am being “transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV).
“If you abide in My word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
No matter our circumstances, the mind is its own place, and there is no better gardener and no better lord than our Lord to help us tend it.
Check out Jean’s book, Feeding Your Soul: A Quiet Time Handbook, for more on developing your mind as its own place.