We take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5b (NRSV)
When I lose control of my mind, it seems as though many thoughts go racing across it all at the same time. Needless to say, uncontrolled thoughts wreak havoc with both my concentration and my ability to relax. I have to be very careful when I drive my car, making sure I do not allow my thoughts to keep me from focusing on the traffic around me. I have a restricted driver’s license which my doctor has to renew for me each year. Often at night I have difficulty relaxing enough to fall asleep when I cannot shake some concern.
God is interested in every facet of my life. He is concerned about the difficulties I have in controlling my thoughts. Yet, He won’t do the controlling for me. The grammar of our verse of scripture for today indicates that I have to do the taking captive of every thought. It is true that God helps me to do this. He has given scientist the knowledge needed to create medications which can ameliorate my thought disorder. He has given my psychiatrist and therapist the insights needed to help me focus on what I can do to improve my situation. But there is a sense in which I have to do the work myself.
Prayer is a good way to control racing thoughts. Keeping my mind focused on God’s will for the moment, and not on my own concerns alone, helps me keep runaway thoughts in check. Occasionally I leave the television early in the evening, go to my room, and there read something devotional, like Guideposts magazine for example. Guideposts contains short easy-to-read stories of how other people have overcome life’s difficulties. Quoting a verse of scripture helps me claim one of God’s promises for myself at that moment.
I invite you to pray this with me: “Dear God, help me to discover what is Your will for my life each day. Help me to find time to pray and read Your word. Help me to deliberately put unwanted thoughts aside and to focus on what is really important for each moment. Amen.”