Each year at this time there’s a little shift in my daily routine. My interests are directed to my garden which is an area of the yard that’s usually neglected. I closely watch it to see when the yellow flowers become tomatoes and the beans and the zucchini begin to sprout. I also add a little fertilizer to stimulate the growth of the plants; however, I put a fence up around the garden to keep the cats out; I don’t like their soul-enriching methodology.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize it’s better to dispose of a weed when it first appears. This prevents it from developing strong roots or dropping its pollen and contaminating the rest of the garden.
The vegetation in a garden is much like the thoughts in your head. Some can bloom and produce a beautiful crop of beneficial thoughts and productive ideas; others are weeds that are detrimental to your mental well-being and they can make a blooming idiot of you.
To live a well-ordered life, a life that’s more fruit than folly, you must manage your thoughts when they first appear. Winifred Gallagher has said:
“Living the focused life is not about trying to feel happy all the time… rather, it’s about treating your mind as you would a private garden and being as careful as possible about what you introduce and allow to grow there.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson recognized the power and potential of a person’s thoughts when he said, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
When you read Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, he said your mind should be a weed-free zone; and, the only way to accomplish this is to take your thoughts captive. If you fail to manage your thoughts and to take them captive, they will captivate and control you.
“The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity (2 Corinthians 10). ~The Message
If you would like a better understanding of what it takes to discipline your mind and to become more aware of your thoughts, Dr. Caroline Leaf has some practical suggestions.