Thursday, December 31, 2009

Runaways

Stampede = a wild headlong rush or flight of
frightened animals,
or a mass movement of people at
a common impulse


The subject of a stampede conjures up memories of yesterday's cowboy pics, when Roy Rogers or the Cisco Kid was either instigating, or attempting to extricate themselves from one. And there's always Ben Cartwright & sons - Adam, Hoss & Little Joe - on the Ponderosa, where stampedes became common fare for those that head 'em up and move 'em out - and for those of us that loved Bonanza.

When I asked my sister what came to mind with the word "stampede" she said, without hesitation, "A Rogue Elephant". Now that's an image!

I understand stampedes now occur at Target Stores, no longer confined to the open plains.

Ah yes, the drama of the stampede.

Just the other day I heard a term that brought the subject of stampedes into clearer focus. The term? Runaway Thoughts.


Have you ever had them? I have. They're commonly associated with fear, worry or angst, and they threaten all that is peaceful within us. Try as we might, they populate our dreams or prevent sleep altogether. They distract our attention and affections, interrupting good meals, good movies, good conversations. The mind is wound tight. It springs to flight with thoughts heading off at a furious pace in this direction or that.

Come to think of it, there's not much about stampeding thoughts that's good, much less healthy.
At best they're an annoyance. At worst they're a plague. They scare the bearer and onlooker alike!

So what's up with that anyway? How do our thoughts break free of their peaceful pastures to run rampant?

No doubt there are myriad reasons, but my guess is that there are common instigators in our midst. They may include habit, or a need to control, or a lack of self-value, or an over-active imagination, or a reaction to threats real or imagined, or a wobbly faith, or ....

I suppose it doesn't really matter how or why they occur so much as it matters how to deal with them before or after they show up. Perhaps a trip back to the Ponderosa will help. Let's consider what the cowboys (and cowgirls) do with their herds (in this case, herds being thoughts).

  • Prevention. Ensure the herd is crazing in safe pasture - protected from wildfires, predatory foes, and the blight of winter or the scorch of summer.
  • Round-ups. Periodic scrutiny of what's happening.
  • Stock-taking. A thorough inventory and a realistic assessment of the herd's condition.
  • Culling. Removing the sick ones (in this case, thoughts) so they don't infect the others.
  • Veterinary care. Applying medicine & nurture to the hurting ones.
  • Range Riding. Making certain the herd doesn't go beyond the fence-line.
  • Grange activity. Aligning with others that share herding initiatives. Including the
    occasional grange dance and pie bake!
We demolish arguments and every
pretension that sets itself up against
the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5

Do not be anxious about anything ...
but in everything, 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.
Finally, brothers,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.
Philippians 4:7-8

...in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies
as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—
this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to
the pattern of this world,
but
be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve
what God's will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2

Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
And we, who with unveiled faces
all reflect the Lord's glory,
are being transformed into his likeness
with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18


May our thoughts be as our hearts
- steadfast and at peace -
in the coming year, and all those that follow it.

A blessed 2010 to all!


24 comments:

Karen Lange said...

Great post, love this comparison! When overtaken with worry or negative thoughts, it does feel like a stampede. This is something to meditate and work on for the new year. I for one, spend too much time allowing the enemy to railroad my thoughts and steal my joy. Thanks for the stirring and encouraging words. Blessings and Happy New Year to you and your readers! :)

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Happy New Year Sweetie...
It has been a wonderful year in 2009 and I can't wait to see what 2010 brings to each of us.

I love this post sweetie. Do not be anxious about anything (we are all so quilty of this) but in everything by prayer & petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. That is going to be part of my New Years Resolution, to have more faith and trust him when he says NO. Thank you for sharing with me today sweetie. This really spoke to my heart.

Here's wishing you happiness, love, prosperity, peace and good health.

Country hugs and so much love sweetie...Sherry

They call me "Deb" said...

Some of my favorite verses presented with great wisdom! Thanks for so eloquently sharing.
May God bless your 2010 my friend.

Melinda said...

I remember, as a young, newly married wife, one night when my husband was late getting home from work. I was making dinner and, as I worked, I started imagining what could be keeping him. Pretty soon I was convinced he'd been in an accident. I imagined the paramedics rushing to his aid and then care-flighting him to a major hospital from where I would receive a phone call that he was pronounced DOA. Soon, I was riding in a hearse to the cemetery! When he walked in the door, he found me sobbing. Oh how our thoughts DO stampede!

This is an excellent post - you should submit it somewhere.

Love you!
Melinda

Just a little something from Judy said...

"Wobbly faith"...that is a perfect way to describe my stampeding thoughts. In fact, last night is vivid example of just that...as I lay there in the middle of the night with thoughts rambling through my mind, I was reminded of my "wobbly faith" in God and His greatness. This is a powerful post! It is thought provoking and freeing at the same time. It causes me to take stock in the fact that my worries and thoughts often do stampede needlessly through my being. Love the verses that you shared and the kind and inspiring way in which you do it.

Wishing you joy filled moments in this New Year! Wishing me many more opportunities to visit your special blog.

sonja said...

Kathleen:

What choice words! I have been 'mulling' too, as this new year begins. I have just copied these scriptures, they are some of my favorites too, but I want them 'front and center' in my office... sometimes the one right after another daily reminder of truth is just what I need to 'stand'...
I'll be back to read this again.
Thank you, and richest blessings for 2010!

Sonja

If Meadows Speak... said...

Yes, stampede. Word, thoughts, imgainations pounding through my brain. I love your trip to the Ponderosa! His words over me round up those little scoundrels. But other times, they're at it again. So I'll be heading to the Ponderosa. I loved that show! But even more I love HIS words. I'll be re-reading this one.

Rose said...

Kathleen,

I too love the comparison. I tend to think I am the only one who's mind goes off on one of those tangents, that leaves me wondering what the heck happened and where did that come from? I guess as long as we have these earthly ties, we will have those moments. Hugs!
Rose

Rebecca said...

What great word pictures you have created! The analogies are SO awesomely worded. I can see it! And God's word addresses the frequent tendency MY herd has to stampede.....

Together We Save said...

Happy New Year!!

manthano said...

Hey sister!

God has been dealing with me about
"focusing" my direction, mind, desires,
thoughts. Are you trying to "ram it
home" too??

God bless you. I pray that the coming
year will be your best ever.

Patrina said...

Yes, Katleen, this was an awesome post. So fitting for facing the coming new year. I love all thse verses that you shared. I have to purposely keep them in front of my minds eye to kep me focused on faith and living in the spirit rather than getting all caught up in the fleshy happenings of the day. You have a inspired gentle way of sharing God's wisdom and His peace to a watching world. God bless your heart and your words that you share here.

And God bless you for being the 7th follower on my blog! I asked the Lord for the # 7 because it is the scriptural # for God, completeness, and perfection - and thus in my dream language. And He gave me you! This wonderful christian woman who chooses to serve the Lord through her blog and her giftedness. I am honored!

You, Kathleen, are a pencil in the hand of God. Thank you for being God's confirmation to me - to continue and not give up on this blogging experience! You are all that I asked for. 7 followers and christian sharing! you are both. Amen to the wonderous work of the Lord. Welcome to my Bridge, Kathleen.

Hugs, Patrina

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

In the middle of my own "round up" as I type; also in the middle of old episodes of Bonanza. My son received some DVD's of them. Fun seeing them again through his eyes this time around. And Little Joe... darling as ever.

peace~elaine

Brenda Leyland said...

I'm coming back to read this when I have a little more time to read properly... I loved your imagery! Perfect!

Here's wishing you a wonderfully blessed 2010!

Beth E. said...

What do I think of when I hear the word stampede? My three guys running to the kitchen when I yell, "Dinnnnnerrrr!" lol

I deal with runaway thoughts way too often...that kind of stampede is very hard to corral.

Your scripture references are great...thanks for another awesome post!

Hugs,
Beth

Winging It said...

What a great analogy! This really is asking to be the outline for a book! Jus' sayin'! ;)

The scriptures are lovely, and I love how you particularly gave pointers on how to protect and prevent. I alternate between the taking the thoughts captive, then replacing them with verbal declarations of God's promises, and FOCUSing on Jesus Himself.

Lovely thoughts, Kathleen!
Maria

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

What a great way to describe out of control thoughts! I don't think I'll ever forget this analogy.

While attending Bible School, one of my teachers had an acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Saleslady371 said...

I loved the creative stampede thoughts combined with some of the most powerful scriptures for the mind. And you tickled my funny bone yet challenged me to disciplinary action! A great New year's message for sure!

Carla Gade said...

What an excellent post! Thank you, thank you! I'm going to save this. It was a blessing visiting here today.

I invite you to stop by http://writingtodistraction.blogspot.com

Happy New Year!
Carla

Tom and Cindy said...

Wishing you a Blessed New Year
Your Friend
Cindy

Beverlydru said...

Happy New Year, friend! I've enjoyed more blog time this week and have had a good catch-up visit! Your posts are always thought-provoking. God's richest blessings on you as we begin... again. God is good!

LisaShaw said...

Dearest Kathleen,

My my I have missed my visits with you while I was on blog break and just the message I return to is something I was addressing in my prayer time two months ago. I determined that those runaway thoughts the enemy tries to clog our minds with that cause one to run like a stampede of wild animals allowing unhealthy thoughts to run stampede over the joy and peace of GOD in my life; that I would run like a panting, hungry soul right to the feet of JESUS looking to FILL my thoughts with HIS WORDS ONLY.

Being transformed in our mind through the WORD is a daily NEED in order to keep our thoughts in line with what is good, pure and helpful to us and that can only come from the WORD of GOD. Amen!

I so love you and enjoyed my visit today and the powerful way you share His Truths with us.

May our hearts and minds be filled with the presence of GOD throughout this year and always.

I pray a beautiful and favored year for you and your husband and family.

Much love,
Lisa

TRUTH SHARER said...

Kathleen:

Great post and GREAT SCRIPTURES especially that first one in the list! Wow! I needed that one for a reminder!

I saw your comment on Mary's blog and wanted to second the motion! Amen and Amen for all of those!

Choosing JOY, Stephanie
JESUS ONLY in 2010

christy rose said...

Great post Kathleen! Such a great reminder for the new and upcoming year! Praying that you and your family have a blessed and happy new year too!