“What consumes your mind, controls your life”
I finished reading, All the Places to Go, How will You know? By John Ortberg. It’s a book about open doors and choices – how to recognize God’s leading.
This caused me to reflect on decisions and choices I’ve made or failed to make – stuff that directed or changed my life (if I only went left instead of right).
In his book, Ortberg says, “We make decisions, and then we make us: what I say, what I think, what I eat, what I read, where I go, who I’m with, what I do, how I work, when I rest. Add up 1,788,500 little decisions and what you get is a life. We go through doors, and what we find on the other side is the person we’ve become.”
Then I read this verse during my quiet time:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6
My study notes say, “What a person allows to occupy his mind will sooner or later determine his speech and action.”
In other words, my thoughts direct my decisions and ultimately my life and the person I become.
I started to think about what occupies my mind. I spend a lot of time thinking about my son, his life, how I can help him grow and move forward, what he needs to be okay after we’re gone, etc.
I also tend to occupy my mind with what other people are doing or have done. Things I view as bad decisions. Thoughtless words. Actions I consider hurtful or irresponsible.
Notice I’m not reviewing my bad decisions, thoughtless words or hurtful actions.
How my life might change if I occupied my mind with gratitude, people in need or what I might do for someone else? What if my mind was occupied with discerning God’s will instead of “to do” lists, who I need to call and what I need at the grocery store?
I don’t want my life to be a series of checked off lists, obligations and errands. At the end of my life, I want to know I loved well. I want to look back and feel certain I sought after God with my whole heart and did my best to serve Him and others.
I want to know my son is provided for and will be okay without me. I want a life of peace, joy, love and service – to bless others as God has blessed me. What focus, what thoughts do I need to create that?
Thankfully, it’s not totally up to me. What I choose to think about and focus on is my choice but if I allow room for God, He helps me out.
If I give Him room, my dreams and desires begin to align with His. As I surrender, choose God and His goals instead of me and mine, my thoughts begin to change.
When I choose to love Him first and best and most He directs the sails and takes me on an adventure beyond anything I can dream.
Dr. Seuss might say it best:
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
What thoughts help or hurt your life?