I remember it well. Confusion. Panic. Tears.
As a timid middle schooler, I sat on the school bus, anxious to be home after a long day of school.
I was sitting quietly in my seat, when I began to have a sinking feeling in my stomach. Although my surroundings appeared to be the same, something was not right.
The bus was the usual color of sunshine yellow. The seats were in the standard black vinyl, displaying rips and tears from years of students. The floor was littered with the usual misplaced pencils, erasers and wadded up papers. Yet, it felt wrong.
Then I began to notice how I did not recognize any of the faces of the children sitting around me. I frantically began searching for glimpses of anything familiar. The entire atmosphere of the bus ride seemed foreign and unknown, and my face began to feel hot as my heart raced.
I soon realized that somehow, I had boarded the wrong bus, and although I WAS headed somewhere, it was NOT where I had wanted to go.
(Keep in mind, these were the days before the convenience of cell phones, so it was not until after all the other kids had been dropped off at their homes, that I could be returned to school, and have my parents contacted!)
I suppose that prior to my getting on the wrong bus, I was distracted by conversations with friends, thoughts about sleepovers, or pondering how long my homework was going to take.
Obviously, my thoughts were not focused on getting on the right bus, and ending up at my desired destination. As a result, the actions that followed caused me to end up somewhere that I did not want to be.
Our thoughts have greater power in the direction of our lives than we often realize.
For example, when we think about things silently – it seems safe. Nobody can hear our thoughts, unless we choose to speak them aloud. So even if we are thinking something negative, judgemental, or even sinful, it’s okay, because nobody else knows….right?
Wrong. Our thoughts are just like a bus… they will always take you somewhere.. and it may not be somewhere you want to end up.
If we spend an entire day fuming over something that our husband did, and thinking about all the harsh and critical things we are going to say to him when he walks in the door, those thoughts will take us to heated arguments, hurt feelings, and damaged relationships.
If we spend time thinking about how our boss does not appreciate us and how we are underpaid, our thoughts will take us straight to an overall bad attitude at work, and maybe a pit of low performance.
If we focus on how much we do for our children, with little to no thanks from them, our thoughts will take us to a place of resentment and a lack of patience and love.
If we dwell on all the things that we wish were different in our life, and wonder why God has allowed certain problems and trials, we will transport ourselves right into the state of unhappiness and discontentment.
If we focus all of our thoughts on money, career, success and pleasure, we will find ourselves in the land of the lost – disconnected from God, and wondering why we are no longer feeling close to Him or hearing Him speak.
Our thought life is powerful, and requires great self control.
If we allow our thoughts to run rampant, focusing on negativity, self-centeredness, defeat, discouragement, or sinful pleasures, then we are sure to eventually wind up at a destination that is unknown and uncomfortable – a destination that we would never have deliberately chosen.
Proverbs 23:7a says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:”
We have all known people who are upbeat and positive, regardless of the circumstances in their life. On the other hand, we have also known people who are negative and pessimistic, regardless of what is going in their life, good or bad.
The difference is their thought life, and where their thoughts are taking them. They are living in the destination place of their thoughts.
In Proverbs 23:7, the Bible is clearly conveying that we can choose what we think about, and we can choose to have a positive thought life – regardless of what life brings.
Our thoughts do not control us, we control them! So it all boils down to a personal decision of where we want our thoughts to take us – and whether we allow God to help us move into a better, more positive, biblical and healthier line of thinking.
Your outward life is a reflection of your inner thoughts – if you change your thoughts, you can change your life.
That is how our thoughts really do have wheels. Where are your thoughts taking you today?
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Ephesians 4:23-24 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (NLT)