Am I the only one who immediately thinks that someone has died when the phone rings late at night? Instantly my heart starts beating fast and my thoughts run to places they probably shouldn’t go.
The phone rang recently just before midnight right as I had just drifted off to sleep. My father was officiating a wedding in a remote area in the foothills. It’s a beautiful location, but to get there meant driving along a pitch black, curvy, narrow road that could make almost anyone car sick. My mom had fallen asleep only to be startled awake by the deafening silence of the empty house. My dad was over an hour late and he wasn’t answering his phone.
I tried to remain calm for my mom, but instantly I pictured my dad having a heart attack. In my mind’s eye I could see him: slumped over the wheel of the car and careening off the road into oblivion. My second thought wasn’t any better, as I wondered if his blood sugar had dropped. Again I pictured him: alone in a parking lot with no one to help him as he slowly slipped into a coma. My thoughts were careening into their own oblivion of hopelessness as I wondered what we should do.
What do you do when your thoughts run down the wrong roads—the roads of fear, shame, unforgiveness, gossip, self-pity or pride? We have a couple options:
We can leave our thoughts unchecked and unguarded,
leaving our minds in distracted chaos.
We can captivate and guard our thoughts, focusing our minds on truth.
During that call from my mom I had a choice—continue down the road of fear or take my thoughts captive. I quickly spoke the truth to myself; God alone knows the number of our days. He is our safety. He is our refuge. He is our comfort.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
My dad was fine (it was his cell phone that was dead!). The wedding party had decided to take extra precautions when traveling down the winding mountain road and everyone caravanned together. It just took a little extra time to organize everybody.
Sometimes it takes us a little time to remember what is true and to realize that we have the Holy Spirit’s power living in us and enabling us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5b (NIV)
When do your thoughts work against you? How do you take your thoughts captive?
If you want a daily reminder of the truth check out my devotional: How to Love Your Crazy Family–52 Quick Reads for No Ordinary Days.