“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37 (NIV)
During spring break I took a little more time off than usual and just enjoyed spending time with my family. While watching a movie, though, and I realized I have a problem.
We were watching a Christian, feel good family movie that our kids had seen the night before and wanted to share with us because they thought it was great. However, without intentionally meaning to, I kept interrupting the movie with my own commentary. For instance, one scene depicted two of the kids playing by themselves on a hay bale.
My response? “She’s going to fall and break her arm, isn’t she?”
The next scene was the older brother riding his bike by the street.
My response? “I bet he gets hit by a car.”
While all three of my kids thought my comments were hilarious, finally one of our kids pointed out my issue. “You know, mom, every movie doesn’t have to end tragically. Some can just be fun.”
My child was spot on. When did I start viewing life through the lens of “worst-case scenarios?” When did my mindset change from a peaceful afternoon at the park to how will we protect ourselves if there is an escaped convict or car accident or natural disaster?
I don’t want to be that woman who lives with perpetual high blood pressure because I’m always on guard for what if’s, now what, or this can’t be happening! I want to be the mom who lets her kids ride bikes until dark, play outside and catch fireflies, try new experiences and have fun adventures just because they can… without worrying they will fall off the hay bale or get hit by a car.
I’m the only one who can change that mindset… with God’s help. The first step was realizing it was happening. Now that God’s opened my eyes, I can start to take action. When fear or worst-case scenario thinking starts creeping in, I can first stop and thank God for His protection. Then I need to go one step further and remind myself of a truth from His word, a specific Bible verse that talks about how He takes care of His children. Then, I can’t stop there. I have to deliberately stop myself from continuing on the path of negative thinking and instead choose godly thoughts, positive thoughts.
I’m not sure how long this process will take, but at least now I’m aware and can start forging a different path in my mind. Next time we sit down together as a family to watch a movie, I hope the commentary in my mind has changed enough that we can just enjoy the movie… maybe with a little popcorn to keep my mouth busy instead, without fearing someone will choke on a popcorn kernel.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016