I have done some of my best thinking while walking. I can’t begin to guess how many sermon ideas, outlines, and illustrations had their origins in my focused brain as I walked and talked to God. Many of the ideas for our annual Bible Action Musical popped into my head while walking, and many problems and wrinkles were figured out the same way. I don’t know why I seem to be able to focus so well while walking. I surely never felt that way during the nearly four decades that I was a runner! All I remember thinking when I ran was how far I had to go and when will it end! But walking…I almost see it as a meditative process where ideas are formed and concerns are addressed. It works for me and I’m sure many folks would have a difficult time thinking like I do – it’s all part of my ministry. I never stop thinking about how do serve God and His family at Florissant better. It may be exercise, but it’s also productive. I may be sitting in a tree-stand bow hunting, but my heart and mind are on God’s work. I’m so thankful that my passion and creativity have never been dampened by someone else’s definition of what my job should be.
So, it’s all good – nearly! I had something happen this morning that tends to happen every now and then. My walking focus wandered back through time to when I was deeply hurt and disappointed by brethren. I quickly began to walk faster and my heart raced more than it needed to for a brisk walk. Before I allowed that stinking thinking track to go very far, I mentally declared, “Get behind me Satan! I don’t want you in my head!” and I asked God to help me dump that thinking like an old apple core! It worked – as it has many times before, and I stopped myself from letting a negative thought become a negative attitude and day.
Was Satan really in my head? I don’t think so. Satan may not even know me. He isn’t omniscient or omnipresent or omni-anything! The Bible never says he is. But what the Bible does tell is that he has angels, demons, and helpers. We don’t know who they are, what they look like, or how they work, but we’ve all believed in their ability to put bad or evil thoughts into our heads. I don’t know how often one of his sidekicks manages to drop a depressing idea into my head, but I believe it happens. I’m sure there are plenty of negative thoughts that are the product of my own sinful nature, but God promises us that if we resist the devil he will flee. I think that’s true whether he is in our head or in our heart. Maybe just the decision and act of refusing to follow his line of thinking is what makes it work. Or may – just maybe – God, or one of His angels, steps in and kicks the sidekick out! I don’t know, but I do know that God’s promises are true – and they work. Try it! Give those sidekicks the boot!