I have a confession to make, there are times when I struggle, when my fears threaten to overwhelm me! Today I am booked in to do my annual physical fitness test (PFT), and I am scared that maybe I will fail. My self-talk reminds me that I am now a year older, I am not as fit as I used to be, and my ankle is still a bit sore… One of the things I often tell others is that it is important to monitor what you say to yourself, yet here I am verbalising a whole heap of negative thoughts. Even my desk calendar reminded me of this a couple of days ago with the following quote:
“Thoughts are things; they have tremendous power.
Thoughts of doubt and fear are pathways to failure.
When you conquer negative attitudes of doubt and fear you conquer failure.”
I already know that, so what is my problem? It seems to me that the problem is that it is always easier to wallow in self pity and believe the negative stuff than to think clearly and logically! The fact is, what you think is what you get and the way you think determines how you feel! Yes, it is about choosing what you think, replacing those negative statements with positive ones. So, to conquer my fears, instead of dwelling on and reminding myself of the feelings above I need to focus on the facts: I have never failed a PFT. I may be older but I still have lots of years in front of me. I might not be as fit as I would like to be, but this will help me to get fitter. My ankle may still be a bit sore but it is heaps better than it was. I might not feel like doing a PFT today, but my life is not controlled by my feelings!
The final crunch is, allowing fear, stress and anxiety to control my life is unhealthy, and not what God wants for any of us. The Good Book puts it like this:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that he has done.
If you do this, you will experience God’s peace,
which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”
(Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
That is the level I want to live on – what about you?
Chaplain Ian S Whitley