I used to try to change my mind. When a worrisome thought got a life of its own, running away like a crazed horse into the wilds of the worst possible outcome — I used to try to catch it. Have you ever tried to catch a runaway horse on foot? It doesn’t work and it is totally exhausting.
So is trying to change your own mind and thoughts.
I discovered that when I expended huge amounts of energy trying to control my negative thinking, it just got bigger. The more I tried not to worry or fret or plan for every possible contingency, the more I realized I had spent the last half hour doing just that!
There are two brilliant thoughts from Graham’s teaching in the Wisdom Series that changed all of this:
- What we focus on we give power to.
- You can only displace a mindset with another mindset.
Combined together, they are a one-two punch that knocks out “changing” our minds and exchanges it for transforming our thinking.
Transformation occurs through beholding and becoming. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). When we focus on who God is to us and what HE is thinking about this, we magnify the brilliant thoughts He is having instead.
Two things can’t exist in the same place. Instead of trying to empty our minds, we fill up on God’s thoughts in scripture, our conversations with Him and our prayers. He fills the space. His perfect love displaces all our fears — and worry starves to death for lack of oxygen in our internal atmosphere of peace.
We no longer need to chase down our wild horse thoughts. When they emerge, we let the horse run and instead enjoy being still and knowing He is God… and knowing… and knowing… until it’s all we see and have become.