F. W. Boreham is one of my favourite authors. He was born in England in 1871. Early on he felt called to preach. He was trained at the Pastors College which was founded by the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The majority of Boreham's pastoral ministry was in New Zealand where he was a much loved pastor and a prolific writer. He authored 55 books. Some were composed of biographical sketches of the many heroes of church history. Others were collections of engaging short stories about his beloved homeland, or his pastoral adventures along the beautiful coasts of New Zealand.
In one of his creative parables, Boreham tells of a pleasant soul whose home is the Other End of Nowhere. This likeable guy had two pockets. One pocket had a hole in it and the other he carefully maintained so as not to have a hole in it. Whenever he heard something of a hurtful nature, like an insult, a cutting remark, salacious gossip, or a lewd comment, he would write it down and tuck the paper into his pocket with the hole. Conversely, everything he heard that was thoughtful, kind, gracious, true, and helpful, he wrote on a piece of paper as well, but this he would put in the pocket without the hole. Later, at the end of the day, he would empty out the pocket without the hole and read over all the notes he had put into it throughout the day. Reading and recalling all the good things that came his way that day filled him with much joy. Then, with a chuckle, knowing it would be empty, he would reach into the pocket with the hole, smile, and rejoice that he had nothing upsetting to mull over in his mind.
F.W. Boreham, using this homespun folktale, goes on to point out that most of us sadly reverse this process. We put the disturbing things in the pocket without the hole and inevitably pull them out and pour over them repeatedly, while all the good things placed in the pocket with the hole are gone and soon forgotten.
The Apostle Paul also endeavoured to counter our morbid tendency to mull over and dwell only on negative, discouraging things. In Philippians 4:8 he says, “whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” He then adds that the benefit of doing this is that, “…the God of peace will be with you” (v.9).
I guess, to maintain a holy mind, stuff negative things into holey pockets.
Thanks for meandering along with me,