Open Gates

Bible Verse:  Philippians 4:6 – 8

Living on a ranch, I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to finding gates open that should be closed, or closed gates that are sagging so low an energetic caterpillar could jump over them.  Gates are a vital defense to keeping cattle out of places where they should not be.  Without fail, if a gate is open or damaged, cattle will find it, and when they do look out!  Chaos and trouble are sure to follow.

The other day I found an open gate, driven over and parts of it buried in the mud.  As I pulled it out and closed it I began to think about another type of gate…

The gate to my mind.

I began to take an inventory of how often I get lazy and leave my mind’s gate open so that anything can enter.  Other times I only half-heartedly close it, thinking that will be sufficient to keep out uninvited visitors.

But it rarely is.  In fact, some of these intruders only need a small crack in the gate to creep through and take up residence in my mind.

One such uninvited guest is worry.  The moment that I start to think “What if…” or “If only…” worry slithers in and begins to make a mess of my thoughts, and the results are, well…

Chaos.

Sometimes worry leads my thoughts down dark and terrifying paths of what might happen.  Other times I am tempted to look back and wish I would have made a different decision.  I waste so much energy wishing I had taken a different trail, that I have no energy to look to God and ask Him for His help in the situation that I am in.

On the other hand, when I stand alert at the gate of my mind, I can guard against those things which I know are harmful to my thoughts.  By using verses from the Bible I can keep the gate of my mind firmly closed against those intruders that would like to gain entry.

For example, when worry tries to sneak in I can use Philippians 4:7, 8 which tells me to not be anxious about anything.  Instead of worrying, I should bring those things that are causing me to be anxious to God in prayer.  I can do this with thanksgiving, because I know that He is with me and He will hear my prayer.

And not only that, He promises that He will give me His peace to guard my heart and my mind.  In other words, God’s peace creates a garrison or a fortress around my heart and mind so that worry cannot enter and make a chaotic mess of my thoughts:D

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Phil. 4:6, 7.  (NIV)