Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
Who “controls” the TV remote in your house? It seems to be a common joke that the men control the remotes, and women just have to suffer along watching whatever the man of the house wants to watch.
I am reminded of our thought life. How often do we act as if someone else were in control of our thoughts and actions? I have heard it said that the first four minutes of interaction with anyone determines the tone of the entire interaction and sometimes, even the whole relationship. If that is true, I wonder if it also encompasses the first four minutes of our day. What if the thoughts we think during those first four minutes set us “on course” for the entire day?
That idea encouraged me to start paying attention to my first thoughts upon waking. If it is pain that wakes me up, I usually think something like “Oh, no … it’s going to be one of those days.” If it’s a family member waking me up earlier than I had hoped (I feel best when I can sleep until I wake up on my own.), the thought usually starts once again with “Oh, no … I’m gonna have to get up earlier and I want to sleep.” Sometimes the thoughts are “Another day . . .” accompanied by a large sigh. Sometimes I waken early and can’t get back to sleep. I lie there searching for rest.
I wonder if it’s time to take charge of that “remote” and change the channel on my early morning thoughts. What, if upon awakening, my first thoughts were, “Thank You, Lord – another day” and look for the blessing that God has for me. (There always is one if I look!) If someone wakes me before I had hoped, I can thank God that I am with family. When I wake up early, I can fumble for my iPod and listen to Christian music or a Christian meditation and have special time with God before my day begins.
I’d encourage you to examine the thoughts you entertain in the first few minutes of your day and if they are negative ones, try this experiment. Write out several index cards with positive thoughts (favorite verses are great!) and put them next to your bed. Grab the pile when you awaken and read through them. Turn on some music that you love. See if it changes the tone for the rest of your day.
God’s word is full of advice about our thought life and thinking good things. See what happens if you use them during those first four minutes. Ready? Grab the remote for your mind and change the channel!
Father God, Thank you that you have provided guidance for us in Your word. Help us to find those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy and keep them in our hearts. Help us to wake to Your truth and love. In Jesus name, Amen and Amen. So be it, Lord!