I have this tendency to constantly be aware of all the bad things in my life.. things that need to get done, need fixing, need paying off, need changed, need cleaning, or need bought. All these needs. All the stress. All the frustrations, just waiting there in that overflowing mailbox. All the fears, over there on Facebook. All the tension and worry, there in the news. All the unrest, there waiting in my house of half-finished projects. All the failures, in my housework, child-training and marriage. All the ‘You’re not good enough!‘, shouting at me from every corner of life.
It’s enough to make me lie in bed and cry myself to sleep with big fat tears. Tears of failure, frustration, weariness and sadness. Tears mixed with sadness for losses, physical pain and emotional hurts. And the longer I focus on these things, the harder I cry, and the more I want to escape from it all.
“Let’s go to Hawaii!” “Wouldn’t it be fun to visit DC again?!” “Oh, I found some cute cabins where we can have a relaxing vacation!”
Oh yes. I would love to run away from LIFE. I would love to hide away in a mountain cabin, or let the warm Hawaii sun burn the problems away. But that wouldn’t solve anything, would it? You know, it sounds silly to even say such things… writing them down sounds absurd! We all know that a vacation solves nothing, and you just come home wearier than you left! 😉 (Believe me – I am all in favor of a good vacation! But not as an ‘escape’.)
There is something you can do to clear your mind of all the worries and endless tension; Focus on the good. Purpose to reject worry and fear. It is only through the power of Christ that we can rise above LIFE and live in peace and joy. I am not advocating some sort of yoga or mind-tricks. This is real! This is how we take control of our minds.
Focus on what is good; stop focusing on bad things. This is Scripture.
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Philippians 4:8
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
This takes self-discipline. You have to repeatedly stop focusing on bad things, and purposely replace those thoughts with good thoughts. This is one of the reasons I need to read Scripture daily; to keep my mind on things above. To have lots of good things to think about! If you struggle with focusing on bad things, here are a couple tips on keeping your mind in a good place:
1. Read the Bible daily. It is your spiritual food, after all. You wouldn’t starve your body for days or weeks – nor should you starve your spirit! No wonder you are so weak.
2. Try to remember hymns and spiritual songs. Sing as you work! Sing as you drive. Sing along to the radio. It helps you focus on Heavenly things.
3. Make a plan for reaching out to others. It always helps me tremendously to remember that my lot in life is not the worst-case scenario. Yours likely isn’t either! Text, call, email…write a letter, for goodness sake! But in your reaching out, don’t just use it as a vent for your problems. Ask them how their week is going. How can you ease their load? Community. This is sorely lacking, and you could be the one to start.
How do you set your mind on things above?