Hope you’ve had a wonderful week. I snapped the picture above on a trial called The Western Rim. It loops around the western side of a canyon with various overlooks along the way. It was stunningly beautiful on Monday and will only get prettier in the weeks ahead; it’s tempting to hike it almost on a continuous loop.
Do you ever feel like some issue in your life is on a continuous loop in your head? Maybe it’s something someone said that crushed your spirit, maybe it’s some injustice that was done to someone you love, maybe it’s worry about a health issue, or a longing that is yet unfulfilled. Bitterness, worry and disappointment all seem to have the Disney FastPass on the Continuous Loop thrill ride that runs in our heads. But it’s not exactly magical, is it? On the contrary, it’s a foolproof recipe for misery.
But you know what we sometimes forget? We forget that we are the gatekeepers of the ride. We get to decide what thoughts get on that continuous loop. Imagine yourself standing at the entrance and turning away everything toxic.
“Excuse me, Worrywart, I’m afraid you aren’t an approved rider. Bitterness, sorry, try the Teacups. You can’t ride…Attention all guests, attention all guests, please read the requirements for this ride found in Philippians 4:8. If you are not specifically mentioned, please promptly proceed to the exit.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 ESV
Really what we can and should have on continuous loop is thankfulness. The happiest place on earth, from a mental and spiritual perspective, is invariably full of gratitude. May we be full of gratitude for all that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. May we give thanks without ceasing.
This past week I have had various things that have been embarrassing, discouraging, and worrisome, and I’ve let the wrong kind of thoughts replay in my mind. But a friend’s text set me straight.
“You can’t do this in your own strength but you know the One who can! Stay close to Jesus and He will comfort and heal your heart.”
I hope you too have a sweet friend who will guide you back to the truth. Romans 12:2 is an apt reminder that we are the gatekeepers of our minds.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
Praying that you’ll be discerning about what thoughts get airtime in your mind. Remember Gratitude isn’t ever in the FastPass lane, you’ll have to go and grab her. Strap her in tight and enjoy the ride!