Which is harder, herding cats or thoughts? When someone says “It’s like herding cats,” they often mean they are trying to manage some kind of chaos like cats running everywhere, which can be extremely frustrating (even if it is a little funny).
Our thoughts can get like that sometimes too. They’re all over the place and when you try to bring them under control, it is no laughing matter and we can end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. This happens to me occasionally right before prayer time or at bedtime. Imagine that!
All of a sudden I start thinking about everything I need or want to do and before I know it, my mind is on what seems like a never ending to do list when it should be on prayer or sleep!
So how do I counter these out of control thoughts? By enlisting the help of our Heavenly Father and using His Word as guidance:
Write it down.
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain…Habakkuk 2:2
Writing out our thoughts can help tremendously because we get a visual of what is truly necessary and important and what is not. I used to believe I had to write everything down in a journal but even the simple act of writing a few words on a notepad or index card helps tremendously.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Negative thoughts can come and wreak havoc on us mentally and spiritually. Philippians 4:8 explains how to replace them with good thoughts. Life can hit us hard and there will be days where it seems impossible to think on anything good. But God is good and we can always think on that.
Practice thinking good things.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
The more you practice thinking good things, the easier it becomes when thoughts come in to flood your mind at the most inopportune times.
What thoughts are overwhelming you today: money, family, relationships, career, health?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 (ESV)
God cares about what concerns us and it is encouraging to know that we can come to Him and tell Him everything because He is faithful to listen.
With God as our Helper, it’s definitely easier to herd our thoughts!