“Not what I thought” is Googled approximately 135,000 times per month.
“What does God think” is Googled approximately 8,000 times per month.
We all have recurring moments in our life where we shake our head in slow remorse repeating the thought, “This is NOT what I thought.” It’s like we believe the more we think it or the more we say it, the more this particular thing will align with what we were initially thinking it would be. We get married. This is not what I thought. We have children. This is not what I thought. We stretch ourselves financially to buy our dream home. This is not what I thought. We compromise our morals to make someone else happy. This is not what I thought. We reach our goals. This is not what I thought. We crucify ourselves on the cross of self righteousness. This is not what I thought. We give our bodies to be burned. This is not what I thought. We attend church religiously. This is not what I thought. We try out a new faith flavor. This is not what I thought. We travel the world. This is not what I thought. We help others. This is not what I thought. We climb the corporate ladder.This is not what I thought. We try a new restaurant. This is not what I thought. We have an affair. This is not what I thought. We give our life to Jesus. This is not what I thought.
And before we know it our whole life becomes one big disappointment because our thinking never lines up with our reality.
What if we spent more time changing what we think, instead of changing what we do?
“Positive Thinking” is Googled 246,000 times per month.
Dear God, This is so NOT what I thought it would be. I’m not even sure what I thought it would be. But this is not it. I’ve tried every single angle of life that I could think of, and nothing has made me the kind of “happy” I somehow continue to think exists. Not one single thing has made me feel like I thought it would make me feel. Not one single good deed has turned out to produce the tasty fruit I thought it’d produce. I keep praying to you, for you to change me, “Change my heart, Oh God, Make it ever true,” but you never do. I am still the tired, dissatisfied, negative thinking, doubting Christian carrying a bag of “feel good tricks” that I save for those moments when I need to keep others from seeing through my church clothes, my God costume, my good mom smile and those sweet little Judas kisses I shower all over my husband when other happy couples are looking our way.
I’ve tried trying.
I’ve tried not trying.
I’ve tried having more faith.
I’ve tried living without it.
I’ve tried thinking less.
I’ve tried not thinking at all.
But the thoughts. The thoughts still perch on my shoulder when I sleep, when I drive, when I wake, when I try to play without a thought.
How do we live in what we do, without thinking that it’s not what we thought?
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
How do we take unruly, unpredictable thoughts captive? These thoughts rob us of living in the moment. These thoughts are thieves. These thoughts are more than unwelcome interruptions to our day. These thoughts are violent and vicious intruders that do not want to be taken captive. They will sneak up on us when we least expect them. They take advantage of the darkness, the shadows. They will prey on the insecure ports of our souls and take everything that’s for the taking.