Philippians 4:8-10 (NLT)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise... and the God of peace will be with you.
It is impossible for me to think about nothing at all. I sometimes (not for long) rather envy the Buddhist ideal of "nothingness." It would be a relief to just flip a switch and stop for a bit. I guess that is what sleep does, but I don't get to enjoy the quiet. Ha!
It is interesting that the Apostle Paul had to urge his readers in Phillipi to think positive, honorable and true thoughts. What a battle this can be! Once again, as has been happening for about a year, I am aware that life is just one long series of choices. I get lazy, and the path of least resistance never seems to go in a good direction. It seems Paul knew this too. At least I'm in good company in the struggle.
I must not just stop thinking about something that is not good for me. I have to replace those thoughts with something else. It's like saying, "Don't think about pink elephants." Right. Instead I choose today to consciously stop and redirect my thoughts into something that will build me up and put a smile on my face. Not a fake smile. A genuine one.
Unexpected things can do this. Life once took a new direction as I was watching "Rocky." That is funny! Who'd think of Sylvester Stallone as "spiritual advisor?"
Music often helps turn my thoughts. Last night it was B.B. King blaring "The Thrill is Gone" from my c.d. speakers. How odd to get happy listening to the blues. This morning it is Kim Hill's wonderful c.d. "For Such a Time." My heart feels heavy lately. I'm realizing my need of the peace of God spoken of in the passage above.
Life is perplexing and hard and disgusting and dark and frustrating and scary and wonderful and exciting and joyful and full of light. What a paradox. I'm choosing to think about those last parts today and put the others down.
Just for today.