I’m sure that you have experienced, as I have, the bewilderment that accompanies a random thought that has suddenly and without notice surfaced or more commonly, at least for me, thoughts occurring that respond to an event but grossly exaggerate its significance. All too often I’ve had to shake my head and mentally exclaim “where the hell did that come from?” For me this will sometimes happen in response to a comment made by someone that, on reflection, I have taken too personally or in some action taken by another that I have interpreted in a negative way without any real evidence that my interpretation holds any water at all. In addition to that, all of us will be assailed to one degree or another with thoughts of lust, greed, envy, uncontrolled anger, accusations against others, selfish pursuits, doubts about ourselves and about God and the like. Unfortunately these random or inappropriate thoughts can cause unnecessary anxiety and guilt. If they are acted on they could result in real injustice in the way we respond to one another or in the way we think of ourselves.
These errant thoughts, I am sure, are a reality in all of our lives. As we grow spiritually and recognize more deeply how much we are loved by God and how much God wants us to reach out in love to those around us, we begin to take charge of our thoughts by catching them and examining them. Do these thoughts line up with what we know to be true? Do they fit with our understanding of God’s goodness and our own call to respond to God’s invitation to share the Gospel? Does a particular thought produce peace or does it create anxiety? Does the thought envelop a selfish desire or does it reflect a desire to be there for others?
We know from our own experience that the Holy Spirit, who guides us, protects us and graces us, will assist us to dispel errant thoughts that attempt to influence us. Once these thoughts are cast out of the mind, they wither and die. We can then expect that we will continue to experience peace as we mine our mind to act on positive creative thoughts that help us to be all that our Creator wants us to be.
Some other “thoughts”! Have you reached out and hugged your spouse, child or friend today? Have you smiled at the grocery clerk or at the Bus Driver? Have you thanked God for God’s many blessings? Just “thought” I would ask!