April 19: I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus
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When I was a child growing up at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, music was a key component of the worship experience. On any given Sunday at Mt. Zion, you could hear the following lyrics of this traditional spiritual being supported by drums and an organ with a gospel flair: “I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus. I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus. Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah.” With much clapping, swaying and dancing, the congregation excitedly engaged in worship and praise.
Now that I am older, I am able to critically assign meaning to the lyrics of the song. As I examine Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” I am reminded of the song and I have a new appreciation for the words of the song. During the civil rights movement, the lyrics were designated as a civil rights song and the lyrics were changed to, “I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom.”
In the 1970s, the United Negro College Fund coined the catch phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” which promotes higher education in the Black community. This is true; but also true is the importance of keeping one’s mind on Christ. I don’t want to waste my mind – instead, I want it to be transformed and renewed to reflect the mind of Christ.