It seems that this writer has met up with this experience in the past. He said "When my anxious thoughts multiply within me." The '_________ ' speaks of a pattern. A history. This has happened before.
This writer was very aware of what he was thinking. The more we are _________ of the _________ in our minds, the more we can begin to observe their patterns. We can actually begin to understand what happens inside us by paying attention to what we think.
Let's look at the number patterns a moment. One has to find the pattern before he can find the answer.
Can any of you detect in the first row, what the next number will be?
1 ,4, 9, 16, _________
What about the second row?
0 ,3, 8, 15, _________
|Once you line the numbers up with each other, they can be compared and their pattern begins to be revealed.
The pattern in the second row is much more difficult to discover. One has to rely on the similarity of the two rows to be able to catch on to the second one. The first row
simply squares the number. For example, the third number is multiplied by itself: 3 X 3. The fifth number, then is also multiplied by itself.
The second row
is difficult until we look at the first row. From the first row we find that the number below is always one number less than the one above. So the number is multiplied by itself and then one is subtracted from it.
You might wonder what does this have to do with anxious thoughts?! Some might even exclaim, "You are giving me anxious thoughts!"
Although the multitude of the thoughts make up the problem, they also can give clues to the problem which in turn lead to solutions. The number of thoughts, then, provide the patterns which help develop our discerning abilities.
I wonder do any of you pay attention to what one is thinking through the day? Many temptations can be stopped right in our minds if we would only detect the evil thought and dismiss it before it caused us any real trouble.
How can we be more aware of what we are thinking? We need to train
ourselves. It is the discipline of self-reflection. A spiritual journal is where we share the reflections of our significant inner thoughts.
For example, we can reflect on different relationships or what made a good and bad day. Writing these thoughts down help us discover what we are worrying about.
What did David discover? He discovered that anxiety's greatest danger develops when the thought becomes thoughts, and many anxious thoughts like a storm shake all the branches in every different direction.
Will you make a commitment to journal your worrisome thoughts for at least a months time?
Let's now turn to understanding how these anxious thoughts turn into anxiety. Next page.