When I was in middle and high school, Saturday Night Live had one of the best ensemble casts since the show began with the original “Not Ready for Prime Time Players”. Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Kevin Nealon, Victoria Jackson, Joh Lovitz, the list goes on. One of my favorite recurring sketches was Hans and Franz. They were Schwartzenegger wanna-be body builders who regularly insulted the TV audience calling them girly men, flabby, but they were ready to pump (clap!) you up and get you into shape, though not as good of shape as them, because that was impossible.
What kind of shape is your mind in? That’s what is underlying Peter’s words in 1 Peter 1:13. “Gird up the loins” was a literal and figurative expression. People wore baggier clothing back then and when you needed to do something that required more freedom of movement, you had to basically tie up or “gird up” your loose clothing, particularly around your legs and waist. Probably the most direct correlation we would have today would be to roll up your sleeves. Get ready to work.
What is your mind? In this context it is your intellect, your thinking processes, your “imaginings” if you will. In other words, get your thinking straight. The over all context is that of people going through trials. Can anyone now way that they aren’t going through trials? How’s your mind doing? Is it tied up in knots or is it ready for action?
The Peter goes on to say, “be sober”. That doesn’t mean just to not be drunk. It means to be unimpaired, unencumbered in your mind. It means to be clear-headed. Get your mind ready, get it clear, don’t let anything hang it up. But does Peter just leave us there? Nope. It isn’t enough to simply be ready and clear headed, we need to take action. He tells us to rest our hope completely on God’s grace that that is being/will be revealed in Jesus. What is your hope resting on? What effect is that having on your mind?
Take a few minutes and flex your muscles on that one.