What Are You Thinking?
What Are You Thinking?
By Annette McDaniel
You are caught in bumper to bumper traffic on your way to work. Your first response is frustration, then irritation followed by anger. Since you can’t move, it must be someone else’s fault. Look around! It has to be that rusted old truck belching fumes, two cars ahead. You glare out your window and catch a glimpse of a smiling older couple. Sure, they can smile. They are probably retired and have nowhere important to go. Your blood pressure rises. Your heart pounds. Your stomach churns. And, still, traffic doesn’t move.
What if you knew that the young man in the smoky old truck could only afford that vehicle because he just came out of the military? He’s heading to his first real employment and is thankful for a vehicle to get him there. What if you knew that the older couple are on their way to the Cancer Center to obtain treatment for the elderly woman? They are smiling because they know how precious each day is. They are patient because life has taught them that no amount of fuming will clear the traffic jam.
What affects our spiritual and mental health is our thinking. Thoughts direct actions. Negative thoughts like incoming missiles, bombard us all day long. What do we do with them makes the difference. We can embrace them as our mantra or we can discard them as the garbage they are. Did you know you cannot praise the Lord and grumble at the same time? The mind will either utter praises or complaints but not concurrently. Research on the mind shows us that there is no true multitasking. Our brains were not designed for it. Only computers can achieve that function. The mind may quickly jump back and forth from one thought or task to the other but cannot successfully perform two actions or thoughts simultaneously. The result of attempted multitasking is stress and muddled thinking.
The same can be said of jumping between spiritual and worldly thinking. Because of human nature, the world will win. It must be an “all in” effort to achieve “the mind of Christ.”
Genesis 6: 5 tells us that in Noah’s day, “every intent of the thoughts of (man’s} heart was only evil continually”. The world is the same today. We must guard our heart and our thoughts. Proverbs 4:23 tells us. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”
The Apostle Paul offers good advice. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are TRUE, whatever things are NOBLE, whatever things are JUST, whatever things are PURE, whatever things are LOVELY whatever things are of GOOD REPORT, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate (THINK) on these things.” Philippians 4:8.
Do you accept the challenge to think on these positive attributes? If we do, there will be no room in our minds for negativity. Others are watching us. Are we Godly examples in the middle of life’s gridlock? Turning our thoughts and actions over to the Will of God makes it possible for us to reach the goal. But remember, God want’s full custody, not just a weekend visit.