Hijacked Thoughts

I was meditating on God the other day. Soaking in His presence, thinking about Him, laying a question before Him, and pondering.  Then, suddenly I started thinking of something totally other than Him.  A dialogue with someone else or in front of a group?  You know what I mean, like drifting into fantasizing about something worthless and then you kind of shake your head and come to and think, “What the heck?!  Where did that come from?  How did I get on that!?“. It’s like my thoughts were hijacked from right under my nose and I’m taken for a ride.

Is there a way to guard my mind?   Does that skill or discipline just come with experience?

I have to keep bringing my full attention back to Him.

As I think about it, I guess it makes sense, what with all the “noise” we swim in everyday.  To unplug is not easy… but it is so nurturing.  Scheduling periods of solitude and hearing from my Maker is my source of strength to keep going.

On my way home from work, I began pulling over at a certain spot. I turn off the car, roll down the windows and just sit and listen. In fact, that’s where I am right now. There’s a field of corn to my left.  As I write this I can hear the wind blowing the dried corn around, the droplets of rain pecking at the leaves. Other than the occasional car driving down the road behind me, that’s it. There’s a crow way off in the distance. A quintessential fall day, blustery, grey and brown and green.  This makes me think of how much I must miss of every new day. Moments like this — to simply enjoy being alive. Pausing. Reflecting. Slowing down. It would be so easy to just charge through life, full bore, and then get to the end and think, “What the hell just happened!?

All men die, few men ever really live.” – William Wallace (Braveheart)

How many other places or opportunities are available for me to do this?  I’ve driven by this place for 5 or 6 years now and rarely stopped.  And, what led me here?  Why now? I contend that it’s because I’m in touch with my heart and its longings and desires. (At least, I’m getting more in touch with it.) That is to say that, I’m sensing or hearing God calling to me, stirring my heart through my longings and desires like some cryptic message that can be difficult to decipher.  But He seems to guide me to places like this.  And then when I’m here, in THIS place, I can decipher it more easily.  And the messages I receive from Him always seem to make me feel like my heart is melting wax inside me.  There are usually a few tears and me saying “Oh Lord, you’re too much for me-your love is too much for me.  My heart is going to burst, I can’t take it but I don’t want it to end.”  Even as I write this, I can hear Jesus saying to me, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  Repent means to turn — turn away from the busyness and the running and find that the kingdom of heaven itself, truly, is near.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.  Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)

Jason

(Jason is a good friend of mine and a freelance contributor to my life and my blog.  I hope you enjoy his thoughts and insights as much as I do.)

5 thoughts on “Hijacked Thoughts

  1. Just wanted to share a few of my thoughts on this topic. Loved what you had to say- what a cool notion to have a spot where you pull off from the road and just sit- I love that! I have struggled with this disciple myself for some time. Why I wonder is this so hard to do?
    I went to a spiritual retreat center not long ago to practice this discipline. Here is something I wrote in my prayer journal at that time:

    “I wandered down to the church and sat alone in the sanctuary. The stillness was deafening- it was so complete it unnerved me. No sounds of passing cars, not birds, not even muted voices from outside.

    A verse came to mind, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Ps 46:10)

    And so I sat…If I am to know you intimately God, it will be in the silence.

    This is not a head thing, but a heart thing, I heard the Spirit say. Do not ponder how it works or analyze what it feels like. Just be in it- in the silence- in my Presence.

    For me it is not just the distractions that get in the way- although that is true too, but there is something uncomfortable for me about ‘just being’- it’s like I have to be doing something, putting forth some effort on my part, to make something happen. Maybe the following quote from Henri Nouwen in his book Out of Solitude provides some insight:

    “More often than not, we not only desire to do meaningful things, but we often make the results of our work the criteria of our self-esteem. And then we not only have successes, we become our successes…It is in solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts. When you are able to create a lonely place in the middle of your actions and concerns, your successes and failures slowly lose some of their power over you. Then your love for this world can merge with a compassionate understanding of its illusions and your concerns for others can be motivated more by their needs than your own.”

    I truly had no idea that solitude was this powerful! It’s worth the struggle. It really is the power source for transforming us from the inside out. It’s how we get to have the ‘ mind of Christ’ about everything.
    One of my favorite verses is- “In quietness and confidence is your strength” (Is 30:15)

  2. Great reminder… I need this like I need food… No, more like I need water. I can go weeks without food, but without water I’m dead in days. Your words lead me back toward the well. Thanks my brother!

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