Part of this was written early in the morning. As I have said before, I am not a morning person. It’s not just that I don’t have much energy at this time of the day, but that my thoughts trend towards the negative. These pre-dawn, dark hours are filled with problems that are magnified and worries that are louder than my blessings. These thoughts tend to be the adult version of the monster hiding under the bed.
I have much choice of what thoughts enter my mind, but I do have a choice on where they go and what they do. I have the choice of letting them sprint wildly down the path of gloomy what-if scenarios, or I have the choice of putting them into some kind of realistic perspective.
I rely heavily on scripture in the Bible when I am struggling with something, so there are 2 verses that I think speak to this.
The first is found in 2 Corinthians 10:5 and uses the phrase “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. The word for “captive” here means to conquer, master, bring under control. It’s a good reminder to me that I have an active and not a passive role in what happens in my thought process.
The other comes from Philippians 4:8 where Paul says “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” It’s a good measuring stick to size up what lingers in my mind. If it doesn’t fit into one of these categories, it needs to go.
Even if you don’t rely on scripture in your struggles, I think that these are both good guidelines for living as it relates to what we entertain in our minds.
For those early morning times when I am struggling to see any good around me, I will look instead to the Good Word.