Farewell Eric Carle
The world recently bade farewell to Eric Carle, the author of the much-loved children’s book; ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’. I’m sure you know the story of the caterpillar who emerges from an egg laid on a leaf and proceeds to consume anything and everything in sight-just like the average teenage boy! Finally and in spite of his questionable diet, the caterpillar is transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
The saying goes; ‘You are what you eat’. Many of us are aware of the impact of our diet both physically and emotionally. But the same truism applies also to the thoughts, ideas and world views that occupy our minds. The formidable and controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was enamoured of ideas rather than emotions. There’s a great clip from the movie; ‘Iron Lady’ in which Meryl Streep (playing Thatcher, quoting Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu) says; ‘Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, because they become actions. Watch your actions, because they become habits. Watch your habits, because they become your character.’
If what we watch, read and listen to, shapes our mind and inevitably our character, what could our ‘mental diet’ look like? St Paul in his closing words to the beloved Philippian congregation (Phil 4:6-8) calls them to a mind-set shaped by Christ, to fix their thoughts on what is ‘true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.’ Paul in the verse prior links this transformed head space with a freedom from the anxiety and worry that seems to beset so many; ‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.’ That’s ancient wisdom with much to offer our modern world!
Pr David Spike
Learning Leader: Formation