“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24
In a previous entry, I addressed pure thoughts, what it means to have them as well as the obstacles I face in securing them. I want to address another aspect of thoughts: why we have certain ones, but not others.
British singer Ellie Goulding spoke about why she has this particular person, object, or thing (she doesn’t specify), on her mind in the song “On My Mind.” As she repeats the verse “Why I got you on my mind,” she explains she is confused about what is propelling her thoughts (Why I got you on my mind/
But my heart don’t understand/ Why I got you on my mind/ You think you know somebody.) The lyrics speak to me for certain thoughts haunt me–day and night. Though I don’t understand fully why I think the way I do, I know part of why my thoughts enter a particular pattern is the media injects on what it wants me to focus (the sights, sounds, touches, and smells it presents.)
Why do I focus on certain foods, and not others? Why does my mind concentrate on certain women, and not others? With food, it’s the not only the taste that attract me to eat it, but the smell, look, and touch. (Sound plays no role in this example). Pizza ranks high on my favorite foods because its warm, cheesy, and soft. In fact, most, if not all, Italian food, invite me to indulge. A food’s appearance draws my attention as I admire its beauty. Coupled with this, the fragrance drifts into my nostrils to inform me “Delicious food is cooking.” Moreover, how the food feels in my hands (French fries, cheeseburgers) bring satisfaction as I can lick its residue from my fingers.
Likewise, women I met in life have captured my attention by (the obvious) their physical appearance. How they look determines my attitude and thoughts about them in addition to my behavior in their presence. I notice its the ones with long flowing hair, white teeth, and clear skin that make my heart pulsate. Furthermore, their demeanor is important to me for it reveals how they conduct themselves in public. Not all women I met have been classy; not all have been nasty–it depends on the woman.
The Scripture verse above is among my favorite verses because it addresses God’s control over my thoughts and feelings. The writer David asks God to examine his heart, removing anything that hinders spiritual growth. He acknowledges God as knowing his every thought and every action in Psalm 139:1-2:
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
I ask God to examine my heart daily to reveal any sins I hold. One foible is overeating. I find myself gorging on the same unhealthy foods–in large quantities, sometimes. Food provides physical replenishment, but it can grow to be dangerous (and unhealthy) when one eats too much, with no little to no exercise to burn off the calories. I need to change my eating habits, but my strong affinity for desserts rob me of a muscular physique. Coupled with this, I need new running and training shoes for my former ones are in tatters. (I need the proper footwear to exercise, especially when running and lifting weights.)
The movies, music, television shows, and books that I tune into saturate my thinking for they influence what settles inside my head. For example, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 inserts itself in my psyche when I imagine myself as a superhero, saving the damsel in distress. Shawn Mendes hit single “Stitches” captivates my ears for the rhythm places me at ease. It conjures an image of a blonde dancing (a CNU student).
These examples demonstrate how my surroundings can intrude my thoughts–whether it’s food, music, television, or film. What I need and desire is to focus on God for He is the only one who can provide fully my needs and ambitions.