Friday, October 18, 2013

The Treadmill of Thoughts

I hate the gym. Actually, I hate organized exercise of any kind. I think I'm allergic. No, really! I often feel like I'm going to throw up when I exercise. I think treadmills are especially stupid. I just can't figure the things out. It used to be simple, but now there are so many options and controls- speed, incline level, resistance, intervals-that's a good one-it speeds up and slows down on its own. Keeps you on your toes, so to speak. One treadmill I was on even offered some sort of simulated walking course around some mountain. It took so long, I quit and went home.

You know what else I hate about treadmills? That feeling of going nowhere! After 45 minutes of brisk walking/semi-jogging, I can boast that I've gone what...3 miles or so? But I haven't gone anywhere! And when I want to stop and get off while it's moving-I have to quickly step to the side ...otherwise, I'll just spin out of control, like George Jetson, going around and around and around crying, "Help Jane! Stop this thing!"

And then there's that weird feeling when I stop and get off.  I'm walking on the floor, but it just...I don't just feels really the floor should be moving me along but it's not, and I can't figure out how to walk normally again.

Our thoughts can be like treadmills. You get a thought in your mind and you just think it over and over and over. It starts out as a seed, but you water it. It becomes obsessive. It grows. It festers. It intensifies. But it goes nowhere! The more you try not to think the thought, the more you think it! It exhausts you! It speeds up, then slows down, then speeds up again, all on its own-it comes and goes in intervals. You can't figure out how to stop it, how to get off. There's a way to step to the side, but the treadmill seems to go faster and faster and, like George Jetson, you can't get off-you just start going around and around, calling, "Someone help me! Stop this thing!"

Joyce Meyer says that we need to think about what we're thinking about.  That makes sense to me.  We don't have to let any and every random thought come into our heads. We get to decide what we want to think about. In fact, we are commanded to do so. 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 these things (Phil 4:8). We are told to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5). But what does that mean and how do we do that?  "I just can't help it. I don't seem to be able to stop. My mind seems to have a mind of its own!"

Yes, you can help it and yes, you can stop. We all have the power to do that if we have the "mind of Christ." When we take a thought captive we are essentially capturing it. Once we capture the thought, we bring it to Christ and say, "Is this a thought that is right? True? Pure? Admirable? Noble? Lovely? Excellent? Praiseworthy? If that's too much to remember, how about just asking Him, "Is this true or right?" If it's not, then we find the thought that is right or true. We find those thoughts as scripture-in God's Word. And we can ask Him what is right and true.  Then, we make those thoughts obey. Yes, you have the power to do that.  They are your thoughts in your head. Make them obey.

The more we get into the habit of capturing our thoughts and making them obey Christ, the easier it becomes, until we no longer have to "think about" the thoughts-we begin to recognize them as soon as they come-and we either deny or allow them access to our minds.

There is this safety device on the treadmill that you are supposed to clip on to a piece of your clothing. It stops the treadmill immediately should you falter, or fall. Most people don't use them because they're too cool. I do. I don't want to find myself in an emergency situation and have no way out. Like the safety clip on the treadmill, that verse from Philippians is what gets us off the treadmill of thoughts. And when we get our feet back on solid ground, it might feel strange at first, as if those thoughts should continue to move us along like the treadmill of thoughts previously did, but eventually, we remember how to walk normally again.  How to walk in the thoughts that are right, noble, good, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. 

Blessing Along the Path,

Song of the Day:
I Will Run to You (Hillsongs/Darlene Zschech)

Video of the Day:  Warning-while this is funny, you'll see that many people hurt themselves pretty badly, and some of them did some pretty stupid things.  While you watch it, think of the parallel-the treadmill of thoughts.
People falling off treadmills:  

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