Standing on the edge of the platform waiting to plunge 25+ feet to the ground below my heart beat forcefully through my chest. The only things running faster were my thoughts.
“What if the rigging fails?”
“I could fall to my death.”
“Worse, I could injure my already terrible knees.”
“What if I end up in a wheelchair?”
“The rope…it could get wrapped around my leg and I would hang upside down.”
“Losing consciousness while upside down would not be good.”
And on…and on…
With the stream of thoughts that swirl around in my head I should write fiction!
Once I was securely hanging off the platform with my feet firmly set on the edge, I sank back into the straps that wrapped around my body. “Lean farther,” the guide said. I said a quick prayer, centered my thoughts on a protecting God, and leaned. Sinking my backside further into the air between the ground and me I pushed off the platform and repelled safely to the base of the tree. Success!
This isn’t the only time I let me thoughts take off with light speed momentum. One negative thought sends me onto a long road of dissenting worry and self-deprecation. Each time I allow my mind to go off on these rabbit trails I beat myself up. I list the ways I have messed up again. “I am such a mess up!” “I cannot control my thoughts.” “What a failure.”
And on…and on…
God knows that we will fail. He’s not shocked that we mess up. He understands we are not perfect. Thank you Jesus you came to clean up our mess-ups.
Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us from our messiest messes. No matter how much you THINK you have messed up and cannot overcome the thoughts, you can! God is for you, NOT against you. He doesn’t condemn us so we shouldn’t condemn ourselves.
Gaining control of our thoughts is our first step. How do we do that?
- Take every thought captive. When that first thought pops up into our conscious thought stop there.
- Thank God immediately for one positive thing in the situation.
- Give him the power to take over your mind with thoughts of how worthy he is.
- Choose to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Direct your thoughts to each of these with an example.
- It is not easy but it is extremely rewarding. Think about the positive impact and change that will occur over time.
After I repelled from the platform to the bottom of the tree I followed the guide to next adventure. We were to zipline over Gunnar’s Revenge, a 900-foot ride across Gunnar slope, through a grove a trees, across Yodeler trail and then into the woods to arrive at Ashes, Ashes. My thoughts revved up like a drag racer at the starting line. What if….?
Stop! I shouted in my head. Thank you Lord for this beautiful day with my family. Thank you for the education and professionalism of the guides. Thank you Lord for the beautiful mountainside you created. Lord I am yours and I place this in your hands. I am safe. I am protected. I am loved. I trust you Jesus. I will make it to the other side.
I stepped off the stool after I was hooked onto the cable. I sat back into the harness. Placed my hands on the handles. Lifted my feet and sailed across the open air through the trees, over the slopes until I could see the landing platform and our guide. Yes my heart thumped in my chest. Yes, I had to continue to take my thoughts capture. Yes I thanked God and enjoyed the views.
How are you allowing your thoughts to take off with light speed momentum? What of the 5 steps above are the most difficult to conquer for you? What is your next step to create positive impact and change? Share them with me in the comments below!