The Domino Effect

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We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NASB)

I know I’ve written about our thought lives before - and I no doubt will again.  I am seeing how absolutely vital it is to monitor the things we think about.

It is so easy for me to drift off into thoughts that lead me in that oh-so-familiar downward spiral.

My trip to the oncologist was less than heartening.  She gave me a lot of information that I almost wish I didn’t have - and told me I may have some hard decisions to make in the near future.

Didn’t want to hear that.

But I also don’t need to dwell on that.

I’ve found that something that helps me is to ask myself whether the thought I am thinking is a useful thought.

Will it move me forward?

Or will it keep me stuck in a bad place, or even worse - cause me to go backward in my spiritual and emotional life?

Every thought leads to the next thought - pretty much like a chain of dominos.  

And I’m learning … slowly … that what I must do is to disrupt that cascade - much like reaching in and pulling out the next domino in the chain so that my thoughts stop where they are.

And then I can replace them with something useful.  Something helpful.

Sometimes, it’s reciting a Scripture verse to myself.  (If your memory is like mine, having favorite verses written down in a handy spot helps.  I like writing on index cards and keeping them in a small box.)

Sometimes, it’s talking back to myself.

You know, telling myself “Stop it!”, much like one would reprimand an annoying child who chatters incessantly - negatively.  (Come to think of it, that is often what my brain is exactly like!)

And, it’s beginning to work.

When I think about the possible negatives in my future, I tell myself to stop.  I ask myself if it’s a useful thought.  If it’s not … I replace it with one that is.

I’ll admit to having to do this over and over and over.  And over.

But - I’m seeing the payoffs.

Yes, I can dissolve into worry.  But I can also identify it - and usually trace back as to why - what thought triggered the whole mess - and then replace it.

Deep breathing helps.

Meditation helps.

Music helps.

Drawing helps.  (I’ve fallen in love with Zentangle-inspired doodling - it really forces me not to think about anything but the pattern I am drawing.)

I’m not sure any of these ideas will be helpful or useful for you. I pray they might be.

It so helps to remember it all begins … and can end .. with one thought.

Make that thought a good one today.

Father God,  You have told us over and over, in your word, the importance of our thought life.  Please help us to focus on those good and true things, and steer clear of those negatives that can constantly bombard us.  Help us remember to take every thought captive - and hold it up against the truth of your Word.  Amen and amen

Image courtesy of akeeris at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 © deni weber 2010-2015