Doug Creamer: Our thoughts
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2023
By Doug Creamer
My pastor and his wife are on a cruise. Their children got them the cruise as an anniversary gift right as the pandemic began. Needless to say, the cruise industry closed down with the rest of the country, so their cruise was rescheduled. The time finally arrived for them to have a much needed get-away. I hope they have a great, memory-making trip.
The pastor asked if I would speak for him while he was away. I have kicked around various topics trying to find the right one. I walked and talked with the Lord, seeking His divine guidance. I have spent some quality time meditating on my front porch, considering how to say what God was stirring in my heart.
When I speak at church I will often draw on past experiences to illustrate points I hope to make in my sermon. I felt God leading me to consider more recent events and some personal struggles. I don’t mind sharing personal stories but I prefer them to be older ones rather than current struggles in my Christian walk.
I don’t mind admitting that I feel vulnerable sharing current struggles. It is easy to talk about biblical people and their problems and issues. It’s a little less comfortable when the spotlight is on me. Everyone at my church knows that no one is perfect, but pulling back the curtain and revealing my scars and imperfections is challenging. Thankfully I know that my church family loves me in spite of all the imperfections.
I am a very creative person. Creative people often have very busy minds. I am constantly observing things and considering how they might fit into a story or column. People are interesting. What are people thinking? What motivates people? Often I am thinking about conversations…ones that have happened and ones that might happen. I try to imagine what someone will say or how they will react.
Beyond thinking about current events, I often reflect on movies I have watched. I will replay scenes in my head. I want to understand the characters in the movie. Music plays an important part of all our lives. Songs bounce around in my head. I don’t sing well, so I will sing the songs quietly to myself. I also enjoy reading books. I find myself thinking about what I read and wondering where the author might be taking me next.
My mind never slows down, even at night when I go to bed. Sometimes when I get in bed or in the middle of night I will wake up and my mind will be racing, thinking about many things all at once. There are times that this creative mind will lead me down paths that end in worry and anxious thoughts. It is hard to admit that I struggle with anxious feelings. I am supposed to walk by faith, which leaves no room for anxious thoughts.
Whether the thoughts come from me or the enemy, they are still in my mind. I know that we should not engage those thoughts, but I admit that I do. I have been learning how to change those thought patterns. The first thing I do is start thanking God for my many blessings. I will list anything that comes to mind, from family, friends, good health and my home. That changes my thought process and my perspective.
The second thing that I have been doing is reciting and mediating on the 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” God takes good care of me. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me.” When I have a bad day, I remind myself that God is with me protecting me. “You anoint my head with oil.” God knows me and blesses me. “Surely (His) goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” He is a good, loving, and forgiving Heavenly Father who will walk with me every day of my life. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Eternity with Him, Amen!
Meditations like that can change your day. When we remember God’s word we can turn our thoughts around. I want to encourage you to memorize some of your favorite scripture passages and then spend some time thinking about them. When we think about God’s word and His many promises to us we can discover a fountain of encouragement which will ultimately change our stinking thinking. God’s Word can give us better, uplifting thoughts and the faith to find the victory we desire.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email@example.com.