Have you ever had "one of those days" where the moment you step into your home you're "hit" with problems, concerns and worries? Where you are just struck head on with the "dailiness" of life? I had one such day yesterday.
Finally at the end of my work week, I came home to what is supposed to be my "sanctuary", right? I am hit by hanging baskets desperate for some water, a dining room table full of a weeks worth of bills, kitchen sinks BOTH full of dirty dishes, cat and dog toys scattered throughout the house on the floor, dried egg in the skillet on the stove and crumbs still scattered all over the table from breakfast. You get the picture? The thought DID cross my mind to get back in the car and run away, but I restrained myself!
For many of you it may be the insurmountable piles of laundry, the unsuccessful potty-training, another mechanical problem with the car, the house that hasn't sold or the search for a job with no results.
It is so easy when you have days like this for your mind to just go into a downward spiral. Everything starts to seem worse than it is and suddenly, you're faced with a huge picture of "doom and gloom". There seems to be something wrong with everything! And everyone! Am I alone here?
God always has a way of bringing us right back where we need to be, doesn't He? I couldn't sleep this morning so I got up around 4:30 and went to the living room to read. Where should my reading lead me, but:
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."
God quickly reminded me just how important my thought life is. What occupies my mind and what I think about greatly affects my entire life. My thought life will effect what I ultimately become in life. In some ways, my life today is a result of my thinking yesterday; and my life tomorrow will greatly be determined by what I am thinking today.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."My thoughts are like the control tower of my life. We've all known people that we've said about them, "He just says what he thinks". In reality, that could probably be said about all of us. Oh, we may not blurt out everything initially, but they WILL come out sooner or later if we continue to think about them. There is an old saying, "You never really know what's inside until someone bumps you". What enters my mind and occupies my thoughts will eventually come out of my mouth - somewhere, sometime. I need to be so careful about what occupies my mind because ultimately, that is what will come out when I am "bumped".
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." This verse not only assures us of our eternal destiny, but should change our life right now. We have to change our thought lives. I believe that we can change our lives by starting to think different thoughts.
To a certain extent, we are all products of the environment that we live in. Many of us are the way we are today because of the environment that we were raised in. If we were raised around constant negativity, chances are we tend to be negative, also. The opposite of that would also hold true. If that be true, I wonder what I can do to improve my present environment? What changes can I make in ME to improve my environment?
How I spend my own free time will also determine what I think about. I'm sure that we've all heard, "Idle hands are a tool of the devil". Satan brings some of his greatest temptations to us when we have time on our hands. I need to fill my free time with the "tools" that I need to help me think right.
I am also a firm believer that the people you associate with have great bearing on how we think. I used to always tell my children, "You become like those you hang around". Nothing real profound, but it is so true! I have seen it in so many instances with my children. That can also be a good thing! One of the positives about attending church is that we receive encouragement from other believers. You can tell a lot about a person just by knowing who his or her friends are.
That's also one of the positives about all the wonderful ladies that I have gotten to know through blogging. All of you have been such a wonderful source of encouragement to me already. I never dreamed how valuable all of you would become to me and what an encouragement and blessing your words would be to me on a daily basis.
Thank you, Lord, for challenging me to let Philippians 4:8 become my guideline for my thought life, as well as, the standard for how I choose my friends and spend my free time!