Let me start by saying I love yoga. I love it because it stretches you, helps you slow down your breathing, and keeps the blood flowing without having to break much of a sweat. So this is just my experience on this particular day.
It was Wednesday morning and I was super excited that it was finally yoga day. This was my first day back as I hadn’t done it for years; and my body was aching to feel like a wet noodle again. So in I went armed with my purple yoga mat in hand.
The class was full but thankfully there was enough room in the back for me to sit and hide. We began with some meditation. Usually during this time I tune out the instructor for a bit, use the time to pray, or just be still. This day was different.
The instructor began in her breathless, peaceful voice, “Lets all begin by quieting our bodies ….being still and acknowledging that we are present. Let us begin to be aware of the thoughts that we might be carrying with us, worries of work, concerns of our health, stress….. any thoughts that you might have let’s just release them now. Acknowledge that they are there, but do not address them…. simply know they are there, above you. Be still… relax…. and observe as you watch them float by.”
Watch them float by!! Lady, we can’t watch our thoughts float by. Immediately my very still moment was now my very upset moment. I kept thinking, “This is really bad advice. Our thoughts have power in them, they direct our feelings, and then our feelings direct our actions. Most of the time our thoughts are going all hairy carie, totally out of control. And you want us to just sit still and watch them float by?”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
From this verse I think it’s safe to say that watching your thoughts float by is not a good idea. And although you may think you don’t do this, I believe most of us do when we find ourselves upset, angry, depressed, or fearful. It begins with one small destructive thought that we allow to live. This thought then gives way to another and before you know it the captive one is you.
In order for us to have victory in our lives, every thought needs to be accounted for. We need to check our thoughts and ask, “Does what I am thinking go against what I know of God and His word?” If the answer is yes, for the sake of everyone around you including yourself, bring that thought captive to Christ until it agrees with God.
Just like a soldier would do when taking an enemy captive, we also need to take out the weapons we have when we are battling our thoughts. Prayer, the Word of God, praise, Godly books, devotionals, a Christian friend who will point you back to Christ; whatever God has taught you or shown you, (Philippians 4:9), use them until your thoughts are obedient to Christ.
Now for all the perfectionists out there, myself included, this is not an easy task. You don’t just wake up one day and have this mastered- I know because I too am a work in progress. Just remember God is on our side, so keep trying, don’t give up, and you will see changes in your thought life you never realized were possible.