Surely he will realize how disruptive he is being. For heaven’s sake, church has started! The lights are dimmed. The opening video is playing. People are seated quietly. Why does he keep talking…and laughing…and talking some more? And who is he talking with? It takes two, right? Who is the other person who is not ending the conversation when it is clearly a time to quiet down and pay attention.
I think I may have to get up and punch someone in the face.
I think I will have to quietly slip out of my seat, walk to the back of the sanctuary, tap this man on the shoulder, point his direction to the video screen that is being used at present, then ball up my fist, rare back, and punch him.
Then I will walk back to my seat and try to get my focus back where it should be.
Nope… nope…wait a minute. It seems that he is finally closing his mouth and going to his own seat. Lucky for him, huh?
But wait a sec. I was so caught up in my plan to get violent at church that I totally missed what the video was about. I just completely missed out on the introduction to our sermon for the morning.
So who is the winner here? or better yet, who is the loser?
I’m the loser because I didn’t recognize what was happening sooner and I allowed my thoughts and feelings to lead me down a path that completely distracted me from what was right in front of my face.
And now you know that I think I could get violent if I had too. In church. That doesn’t make me a loser. Just a human.
Have you ever been so tied up in what’s going on in your head that you completely miss out on what is right in front of you? Ever let your thoughts run away from you and before you know it you’ve put yourself in a bad mood and possibly everyone around you too?
God’s word says this about our wandering thoughts…
“… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5b
When I was in elementary school, my family and I were sitting quietly in our den watching TV together. Suddenly, my mom started screaming and grabbing at her shirt as if it were on fire! It turns out that by brother’s hamster had escaped and thought that hiding in my mom’s shirt would be a good idea. NOT!
We all scrambled to our feet to grab that little rascal as she flung it in the floor. It scurried in fear but it didn’t stand a chance against all of us. We knew we had to capture that creature and lock it up in its rightful home or else none of us would get any sleep that night.
Sometimes we may need to jump up and aggressively go after those thoughts which we are contemplating
This idea of taking them captive brings a few ideas to mind:
- We can’t control that which pops into our minds. Like that hamster, sometimes they just show up.
- Our thoughts have the ability to run away from us.
- We own those thoughts and therefore, they are ours to take.
- Sometimes we have to be aggressive and maybe even a little sneaky to grab them up.
What would this world look like if we let our feelings lead us all the time?
Thoughts of skipping school or work because we just don’t feel like going. Thoughts of withholding forgiveness because we just don’t feel someone deserves it (even though we want forgiveness when we’ve been out of line). Thoughts of fear when it comes to trying new things.
We’d all be in some trouble.
And I might end up in jail.
As we grow in wisdom and stature, we should be recognizing when those thoughts pop into our head that aren’t worth pondering. Those things that need to be taken captive immediately or else they will serve as distractions to what is right in front of us.
If you or I are still reacting to our thoughts and feelings the same way we did in high school, maybe we need to work on this.
It will certainly save us some grief, wasted time and energy.
The result of doing this more quickly each time should also be a pat on the back. That means that we are learning and growing…and staying out of jail.
Let’s pay attention to our minds. Don’t beat ourselves up when something irrational pops in our head but instead, speak to it, lasso it and get it out of our head.
What God’s word tells us to do, He will give us strength to accomplish.
Let’s keep the clutter out so there’s more room for the good stuff! It’s something we learn. Let’s be about the business of putting it in to practice.
I’m praying we all do better at this today then we did yesterday.