Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Mind Your Thoughts

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Mind Your Thoughts

Article excerpt

One afternoon while shopping, I had gone into mental autopilot - that hazy state of not really thinking or caring about what was going on around me. I was just going through the motions of my day. When I got home, I realized I had been overcharged by a store clerk. I knew if I'd been paying closer attention, I would have watched the transaction and looked over the receipt before leaving the store. It was easy to correct, but it would have saved me time and effort if I'd been more alert. Then I chuckled as I thought about the word "alert." I remembered the phrase I'd once seen on a large message board: "Be alert. The world needs more lerts!"

It was a silly message, but it got me thinking about what was in my thought. The world did need me to be alert. And it didn't need just me. The world needs all of us to be watchful and wakeful, because what we think makes a difference. Really.

Being watchful keeps us from drifting into difficulties. A modern interpretation of the Bible cites Jesus as saying, "Stay alert; be in prayer so you don't wander into temptation without even knowing you're in danger" (Matthew 26:41, The Message). What a powerful way to live our lives - so conscientiously guarding and uplifting our thoughts in prayer that we are conscious, in a degree, of our oneness with God and are kept safe from unknown dangers.

It makes sense, then, to frequently take a hard look at our thoughts and weigh their worth. If they are anxious, deceitful, self- serving, or mean-spirited thoughts, they bring fear and discord into our lives. Attentively watching and praying helps us have the strength not to indulge these thoughts, which in turn helps us eliminate them. We are able to exercise dominion over our thinking. Unselfish, compassionate, and honest thoughts that help us glimpse the nature of God, who is infinite Mind, transform us. Our human experience changes, and we discover greater peace, happiness, deeper satisfaction, and healing. How freeing to understand and prove that God supplies us with only the highest and purest thoughts. It empowers us to live more harmonious lives and help others.

When we read or hear world news, instead of being overwhelmed by tragic events or mentally "tuning out," we can use those news stories as a nudge to wake up and pray. …

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