God In My Thoughts
Sometime in the late 1980s I began to try to meditate, and at first I couldn’t stand being quiet and alone with my thoughts. So I quit after a few tries. Then, a few months later I tried again, because I knew how important meditation was to hearing God’s “still, small voice.” This time I was able to sit with the thoughts and eventually, with a lot of practice, I began to be able to become an observer of my thoughts. I could think them without judging myself or someone else or feel guilty or shame or anything else. I was free of their influence on my emotions!
Once I could just observe them, I could hear God’s voice within my mind. And I discovered how different God’s thoughts were from mine. How, when I followed His suggestion, they moved my life forward, trying new things that I had never even considered doing before. My thoughts were always deeply rooted in the past and all self-serving. Here are just a couple of examples of God’s voice within that I heard clearly way back when:
“I have an agenda for my life.” I didn’t even know who the “I” was, much less what an agenda for my life might be. I began to ask, “What do I really want to do?” instead of “what should I be doing?”
“How can I say I love God, if I can’t love my mother?” This one shocked me and sent me on a 2-year journey to try to love her. And then God just blessed us both with a cloud of love on a railroad platform where she was seeing my husband and me off on a trip. That cloud changed everything—I could love her and she stopped being so critical of me.
Those were the big ones, but there have been so many suggestions to take a different route home or to do this next that have defined who I am throughout my days. And as I followed His suggestions, then my life really worked.
As I followed His voice and suggestions, then my life really began to take shape, minus the anxiety that had ruled me up to then. Eventually I heard my purpose defined in a dream to connect the dots between the Bible and 21st C. living. He snuck my writing career up on me by suggesting that I take Spanish lessons. So I started working with a tutor. In a year she had me writing paragraphs to turn in each week. At first I wrote about anything and everything, but soon all I wanted to write about was leading this spiritual life. Five years later in 2008 as I was moving to North Carolina from California I started posting a bi-lingual blog, By the Waters, twice a month. My tutor was my Spanish editor until she had a bad fall nine months later and couldn’t work any more. So I dropped the Spanish blog.
Three years later I was called to commit to posting every week which I have done since 2011. At first I might take a week off for vacation, but since that year I have posted every Monday morning. And then came the books God wanted me to write: Thy Kingdom Come! and Exodus: Our Story, Too! I am now seeking a publisher for a book entitled, Called to Help the Poor and Needy and researching a book on slavery in the Bible and in the world. All this because I was willing to take Spanish lessons. And what a gift the writing has been!5
Now the Lord is calling my attention to my thoughts again. Although it’s been a long time since I’ve responded to them, they still are in my head, they are always self-serving. They might be criticizing me or another person, defensive, sarcastic, outraged, or self-deprecating. They are the background “noise” of my life. I don’t pay attention to them, but they are very much a part of my human nature. I have asked God to wipe away these thoughts and their sinful connotations. I guess that for many years it was okay to be an observer of my thoughts and not engaged in them, but now it’s time to get rid of these sinful patterns.
And so I am praying that God would heal these patterns in me, so that I can be truly free of them. I had thought that they would be my companions for the rest of my life, but apparently that is not the case. I can’t wait to see what God will do with me now!
 1 Kings 19:12