Today’s Mind-Clutter

The seminar began.

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.   

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Today’s Mind-Clutter

  1. You have a really excellent blog. It’s not just more information or theological pontification, but rather, humble, helpful spiritual insight and application. Thanks.

  2. Jim,

    Thanks so much. My mind, especially through the years, as my wife used to say, was the devil’s playground. I was ever nagged in my mind about this and that. It was really a bane for me.

    Though I’ve made substantive progress, I know I need to keep growing in this.

    Thanks for your thoughts here. Good to reflect on what we’re really thinking about.

  3. Sometimes I just can’t get my mind to “shut off”. This usually happens at night when I am under a lot of stress and trying to sort things out. What I’ve found is that reading wholesome Christian fiction helps. I can become engrossed in the story and my mind gradually winds down.

    You might enjoy this too:
    If the human mind was simple enough to understand, we’d be too simple to understand it. –Emerson Pugh

  4. Ted,
    It is good to be able to look back and see how the Lord has moved us along (I am saying this in reference to your comment regarding having seen some improvement in the way you use your mind)