Right now, I bet almost every single one of us (including myself) is struggling with a Mind Weed of worry.
Perhaps you are one of the lucky whose mind garden is so full of only Mind Blossoms that it should be featured in the Better Homes and Garden magazine.
Or maybe you can now recognize those thoughts as mind weeds. You are trying your best to prevent them from taking root and growing, but you feel like it’s a losing battle. There isn’t a mind blossom in sight. It looks like the ending scene in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty where the prince is fighting his way through the dense thorn bushes surrounding Princess Aurora’s castle.
So what can we do to kill those mind weeds of worry?
Live our lives in the PRESENT MOMENT.
When we are NOT in the present moment, it is the fertile ground for the mind weeds of worry, anxiety and stress to overtake our thoughts.
What does it mean to BE in the present moment?
Being in the present moment means your awareness and consciousness are in the here and now. Your attention and focus is on the task at hand, or on the people with whom you are surrounded.
I bet if we were to ask Jesus what’s the ONE thing his children do that makes him cover his face and shake his head back and forth is this: we worry about what might happen, create problems that DO NOT even exist, and waste our time trying to solve imagined problems.
What does the Bible say about being in the present moment?
But listen to how it’s translated in The Message: Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
That last sentence: God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Let’s face it, when we worry or have fear of the future we doubt in the power of God to help us through those difficult times. I am guilty of wanting answers and guidance RIGHT AWAY, (Will I get married? How long until I’m financially stable to get my own place again?)
What I have come to realize over the past few years is that I don’t need to have all the answers right now. I just need to accept God’s guidance he offers me TODAY. When I start to worry, I refocus my thoughts on God’s promise.
Hebrews 4:16 says, Let us therefore boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and in his grace find timely help.
Key word: TIMELY! If we don’t have answers right now, it’s OK- God will give you those answers at just the right time. We HAVE to trust in that, allow that verse to comfort you.
The biggest consequence of not being present
While you are waiting for God’s timely help, you are not giving your entire attention to what God is doing right now.
For example, let’s say it’s family game night and Monopoly is all set up. The game begins, but your mental attention and energy take you on a trip to the future leaving behind your spouse and children. You have a big project or presentation coming up at work, and in your mind you’re creating different scenarios and outcomes.
So while you are physically present, your attention is NOT on your loved ones. And attention means the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important.
Now here’s the thing. People can tell when you are being present or not.
Your kids and your spouse can feel when you are worrying away. Your son is trying to tell you a story, but you aren’t mentally “there”; you have this blank far off stare. How do you think that makes him feel? Because of your lack of attention, your son may feel insignificant or of no value.
Giving your entire attention to someone is a powerful way to show love.
You are present and involved in the wonderful moments of life that all too soon will be past memories.
Strategy for staying present
If you find yourself slipping out of the present moment and starting to slide into future thinking, do these 3 things to keep the mind weeds from taking root in your mind garden.
1. Ask yourself, “In this precise moment of my life do I need to solve this problem right now?” (9 out of 10 times the answer is NO).
2. Give your entire attention to what God is doing RIGHT now. Be present with your loved ones. Look around and take inventory of the abundant blessings in your life. Be awake to the moments you have with your friends and loved ones!
3. Cling to God’s holy word and trust in his love for you. He will absolutely provide you the TIMELY help and guidance no matter how big or small your worry.