Creating Space For God
May 20, 2020 Last week I told you about the Chinese parable that points out that we do not know if something that happens to us is good news or bad news at any given time. Being on lock-down has been challenging and our thoughts can make this challenging time out to be bad news. And as I have said before, there is good news in the lock-down, too, if we change the way we think. As you know, finding gratitude is one of my favorites, which gives me good news every day. However, I have found that by not physically interacting with people and by not racing around doing things, I have more time to think, and I have become more aware of how powerful my thoughts can be in controlling my moods. Being grateful always puts me in a good mood, but I also realize I need more than one tool to help me control my thoughts in a positive way. I had the opportunity to listen to D.A. Horton talk about daily practices of soul care which I plan to share with you over the next month or so. His talk was full of acronyms, one of which was CARE. Horton attributes the C to Creating space for God and points out that if we are full of ongoing negative thoughts, it is difficult to create this space where we can nurture our relationship with God, and in reality with anyone. So he suggests steps for “Killing the ANT’s.” “ANT’s” stands for Automatic Negative Thoughts. Horton then gives us five questions to ask when we have an automatic negative thought: 1. Is the thought true? 2. Is the thought 100% true? 3. How does this thought make you feel? 4. What would my life look like if I did not entertain this thought? 5. What is the opposite of this thought? After asking those questions, you can now say, “I don’t have to believe this lie anymore.” One trick I have discovered to killing the ANT’s is to just yell STOP at my thoughts and then go on to do something else with my mind such as looking at an object and describing all of its characteristics. Emmet Fox (1886-1951) suggested thinking about all the words that describe God. I do this when I am having difficulty falling asleep when my mind is racing, and it works 100%. “The heaviest burdens that we carry are the thoughts in our head.” It’s time to lighten the load!