Rest For My Overactive Mind

“Find rest in God alone.”

_________________________

I am struggling. I want to be accepted. I want people to like me and support me. I want there to be no conflict. So when I know something is going on that will potentially upset others, I try to figure out what my response will be to their (imagined) reactions.

Because I just can’t live my own life. I have to live my life in such a way that everyone, everywhere, will love me all the time. That’s realistic, right?

I know something you don’t know. And if you knew it, you might be mad at me. You might think you need to fix me. You might look down your nose at me. So let me just keep it to myself.

Do you have any idea how fast my mind can operate? Do you know how many things I can think at one time? My mind is a scary place to be. I am thinking about my problem. I am thinking about everyone’s potential response to my problem. And I am thinking about my response to those potential responses.

Totally normal, right?

_________________________

I sat on my pastor’s couch and said I am overwhelmed. I cannot even state in words all the thoughts that are swirling in my head. He asks me to consider the trajectory of my life over the next 10 years.

My initial thought is, “Are you kidding? I’m freaking out about the next 10 minutes!”

But my second thought is, “Wow. That just might work.”

Maybe I don’t need to know what everyone thinks or feels about my life. Maybe I don’t need to prepare for others’ reactions.

Maybe I just need to know what God wants me to do with my life.

_________________________

I seek for rest from my people-pleasing thoughts: Agree with me; Understand me; Accept me.

Why am I seeking something eternal among the temporary?

If I am going to stop focusing on what is in front of me (real and imagined) and start focusing on God’s trajectory, how will I do that?

“Find rest in God alone.”

First, I will find a word. My word is peace. I silently pray, “Peace.” Over and over. Repetitively. Slowly breathing. Calming. Peace.

Second, I listen for God. I listen through memory. What has God done in my life already? What have I read, experienced, felt, worshipped before?

I listen through perception. How is God present in my life right now? What is God doing? How is God acting, moving, this very day?

I listen through silence. Sometimes, I listen and hear nothing. And that is okay. Just like at night when I look in on one of my children or my wife. I watch them sleep. I hear nothing. But it is one of the greatest sounds ever.

Third, I reflect on the written word. I read the Bible. I read my favorite authors. I read (or listen) to sermons I have heard before.

I find rest in God. God will direct my life, not other people. And definitely not myself.

My mind is running.

But God is calling me to rest.

“Find rest in God alone.”

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