Have you ever felt like your mind was running all over the place? You know what I mean, right? It’s those times when your brain is filled with so many thoughts; many of them anxious thoughts and you can’t seem to get things settled down. Have you lost your marbles? Why does that happen to us? What goes on throughout a day or a week or a year that makes us feel so unsettled and unsure and how can we get back to feeling peaceful, focused and secure?
You might not realize it, but God has given us complete control over our minds. God will never take over our thoughts or for that matter, replace our thoughts with other thoughts. He just doesn’t roll like that! Whenever you hear someone say, “God took away the urge to…” it is never true. God will certainly help us in life’s challenges. He will clue us into certain variables and factors that we weren’t aware of, but He will not take over our minds, no matter how bad things may have gotten. So, what can you do to get your mind under control? Maybe a better place to start would be to understand our responsibility with regard to our thoughts.
There is a little jewel of truth in the Bible encapsulated in the following verse:
Keep thy heart more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
The one great responsibility we have in life with regard to our heart is to guard it! The heart refers to the innermost part of our minds. The heart is where our believing (positive and negative) comes from. Our heart is made up of the thoughts we think the most consistently. Fleeting thoughts aren’t the issue, but rather the thoughts we hold on to; the ones we hold most dear. And, amazingly, those thoughts that filter down into our heart form the basis of our believing and actually determine how our lives turn out! With that being said, God admonishes us to guard our hearts. We guard them like a soldier guards a garrison. We don’t turn our minds loose or let them go just any-ol-where. We guard them. We watch over them like parents watch over their children. Their kids aren’t allowed to go to certain places. So, the basis of a peaceful, focused mind is found in controlling our thoughts. I’m not talking mind control! I’m talking you control your mind! (Okay, glad we got that part settled…)
Now, let’s just imagine that we were unaware of that little tidbit or maybe knew it intellectually but failed to carry it out successfully. So now what do we do? What do we do with ourselves when we are all full of anxiety? Well first perhaps we should know that anxiety is misplaced fear. Full on fear has a cause that we are intimately aware of yet perhaps still controlled by it. Anxiety is a little different. Anxiety is the fruit of some scary thoughts that we failed to confront and now they are scurrying around in our minds like cockroaches. Anxiety doesn’t seem to have a clear-cut cause that we can challenge. I digress…~Have you ever been thinking something vaguely and then felt your mood change and then tried to go back and figure out what you were thinking that caused it? Haha I suppose we all have. Anxiety is like that. Often we will have difficulty seeking out and destroying that errant thought (or those errant thoughts) so what should we do? The very best thing we can do is to control our next thought and our next one and our next one. There’s really no point to wearing yourself out with endless analysis. I digress again…~ Have you ever stopped to consider that all that time spent in analyzing your persistent problems is pointless? Oh I don’t mean analyzing what the problem is or what you need to do about something. I mean that analysis that travels over the same territory again and again and again always arriving at the same place…no answer, no solution. Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Okay back to the point…
We all have a fundamental responsibility to control or take control of our thoughts. When things go south on us and we feel lost, we need to take our minds back by the reins and decide what we will and will not think about. Certain thoughts produce fear and anxiety no matter how open-minded you may think you are. Stop thinking those thoughts. Some thoughts tempt us to consider some awful life-threatening potentiality. Do not consider them. Resist. Stop thinking those thoughts. Some thoughts try to convince us that we won’t be prepared for some dreadful event unless we give it thought. Don’t take the bait. Don’t think those thoughts. Instead think thoughts that are good, useful and profitable for you. Calling yourself a blankety, blank idiot because you messed something up is not good, useful or profitable for you. Spending time pondering all the things that are not right about you isn’t good, useful or profitable for you. I digress a third time…~ Have you ever met anyone that was made stronger by biting, hurtful criticism? NO! Strong people decide to stop listening to it or telling it to themselves! (Now you are getting it) You want the best thoughts? Think about yourself in the way that God thinks about you (yes, the Bible folks…):
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
The only way that you and I are going to be successful at this game of life is by thinking good thoughts; just some good thoughts. Your success in life is determined by the things you think about the most. Get rid of fear! Destroy anxiety! Unscramble your mind, gather the loose threads and get all of your marbles back! Decide that your mind is your mind and think thoughts that are good, useful and profitable to you. Make your mind your friend! If you persist in this and get serious about controlling your thoughts you will get an odd, unusual feeling on the inside. It’s called peace of mind. And, you will find that God was there the whole time waiting for you to do your part! That is real life my friends! That’s a life worth living…
It’s there for the taking people ~ with just some good thoughts!