The Dangers of Overthinking.


I wasted thirty minutes.

Thirty minutes of life that I can’t take back, because of worry. Thirty minutes that jumped to tomorrow, to the next week, to the next month, to the worst conclusions as I thought about the things I may have failed to do, last week.

My thoughts are vicious and unrelenting. I think others with the gift of Intellection will agree with me – our brain doesn’t stop working.

(Well, thank God for that.)

But it’s not always as pretty, and just like today I have to curb my thoughts as I ruminated on my game plan for tomorrow. Tomorrow. It’s not even happening yet but I already played it out one too many times.

Don’t get me wrong; God created us human beings to think for ourselves. Planning the day is well; but the unhealthy obsession I have with knowing EXACTLY what will happen (and plan a recourse), ISN’T. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. Boy, ain’t that right.

So I’m sitting on the tiny square rug in my room, post-mini panic attack, trying to control my thoughts.

One, by confessing them.

I have been plagued with anxiety for a long, long time; and counselors and mentors have told me that the best way to kill a thought is to tell someone it exists, and then conquer it.

The Bible says we need to “capture every thought and make it obedient (submit it) to Christ.” Not be friends with it. Not to camp in it. Take it by the reins and slam it down under the feet of Christ.

In my case, it’s the life-sucking thought of not doing well enough, not being responsible enough, not enough. This is why I’m still “ruminating” on a Sunday.

Two, being humble.

Maybe, in a sense, it’s true – our self-effort is never enough. But it’s not a cause for overburdening oneself, or overthinking game plans. It’s human. I’m human. And the worst argument against this lack of humility is not trusting the Lord to have things covered for me.

Everyday, I pray that God guides me, that we’d leave no stone unturned, and where I lack, that He’d come to fill and complete. My overthinking and lack of humility says, “I don’t think You followed through on that prayer of mine; so now I could sense that we’re screwed!”

The Bible says that God “daily bears our burdens.” I could imagine that He has all the weight while I amble along. (Obviously, because He’s powerful, omniscient, wise, and loving. I’m not.) Humility says, “I can’t carry this. Please carry this.”

Three, be forceful.

Wrestling matches are interesting. You see them grappling each other, sometimes contorted painfully against each other, sometimes silent and unmoving, but calculating. Then suddenly somebody slams the other down, traps the other and makes him tap out.

A single moment’s (or thirty minutes’) hesitation would have made one the first to tap out.

The Bible says God’s word is “sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow.” I cracked my Bible open when I realized I had been in thought for too long.

In the end, God knows everything that passes through our minds and delights to have those things be submitted to Him, as a confidante, as a Father who has no limitations, as a God who is over all things. For this is the promise He gives when we are filled with anxious thoughts of the future and we struggle to keep them at bay, and as we feel lacking, there’s always a glorious respite in how HE moves to fill our inadequacy:

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
PSA 139:16‭-‬17‭, ‬23‭-‬24 ESV

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