Patty and I are driving home from Naselle, Washington, where our daughter Hanna and her family live. Three of our other daughters and their families also were there with us for Thanksgiving; it was a great time. As we are driving home, a four-hour drive, we have the radio playing in the background with nice music.
We live in a time when the sounds around us are like a train wreck, a lot of anger, criticism, slander, propaganda, lies, and news designed to create fear. The best way to describe what we hear much of the day is noise.
A fundamental way to maintain peace and joy in our hearts is to learn how to talk to ourselves in a positive, affirming way, totally divorced from the noise around us. Most people’s self-talk is in reaction to the noise, it would be like a dozen people yelling at you telling you what a rotten person you are and you are yelling back at them.
There are so many good, pleasant, and positive things to set our mind on and to choose to think about. I enjoy thinking about our family and experiences with them. I enjoy thinking about our church family, different people, and upcoming events that I am looking forward to. I enjoy crafting sermons and blogs in my mind. I enjoy thinking about the gifts I am going to buy for our grandkids, and visualizing their reaction to them. I enjoy thinking about fishing. I spend a lot of time thinking about heaven and what it is going to look like.
It is so easy to get all uptight, bitter, angry, anxious, and critical because of the noise around us. We can choose what we mentally dwell on, but we have to choose, be in charge of our self-talk or we will be unhappy people constantly mumbling to ourselves and others that we wish things would go back to normal again. Things will get worse and worse, but we can still be happy people, bright lights in the midst of a dark and noisy world.
Governments and others can do a lot of bossing and try to control everything, but nobody can control what I think about, my self-talk, I am in charge there so I will not give up that freedom because of apathy, lazy thinking, and poor self-control.