The speaker began talking about doing a "Mind-Sweep." Basically, this is an exercise where you "sweep" your mind by writing down everything that is on your mind at that moment. (If you take a few minutes with this, you might be surprised at how many things you are thinking about, trying to remember, etc.). I wrote–and was surprised at what was actually on my mind.
I wonder what an inventory of my thinking might look like for one day?
- How much time do I spend focusing on circumstances that are difficult or depressing? I’m not talking about working on these situations. Rather, I have in mind our tendency to rehearse the negative, the same thoughts, in our minds.
- How much time do I spend worrying about the future? Again, I am not referring to problem solving. Rather, I have in mind a mindset where I endlessly rehearse the worse things that could happen in a variety of situations. These are the minutes and hours you spend asking, "What if?"
- How much time do I spend rehearsing unpleasant conversations which I’ve had with people? Do I allow old conversations to occupy much of my thinking? Do I get focused on people who I really don’t enjoy being around? Do I find myself zeroed in on certain people, mentally making a list of every fault I can find?
I plead guilty on all three counts. I’ve spent too much time–far too much time–in these places. Now, I don’t think the answer is to say, "I will not think about these things." Far too often, we don’t even realize how much time and energy is being lost through such a thought world. I think it is more helpful to begin the day with a new intention:
Today, I want to think about what really matters. Is this matter really important to God? Then maybe it is worth investing some time in my thought world.
"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse" (Philippians 4:8–The Message).
Today, I want to use some of my mind to plan and carry out actions which bless or encourage. I want to following the Spirit’s nudging and depend upon his power for any action I take.
Today, I want to handle the negative in my life by praying for the situation or person instead of repeatedly rehearsing the details of a negative situation in my mind.
Today, I want to pray for a cleansing of my mind of anything which might be there because I am either focused on my own sinful desires or because I am following the "guidance" of the evil one. I pray that he will not only cleanse me but give me a hunger to be captivated by him instead of the junk that is cluttering my thought world.