Sticks: A Lesson on Thoughts

“…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” –Philippians 4:8

Sometimes it takes owning a Lab to realize how many twigs, sticks, and branches a tree sheds on a daily basis.  For Adi, tree debris is a source of great delight.   Catch us at the right point on our morning walk and you’ll see her proudly toting her newest find.  

Adi begins her favorite game of “keep-away” by presenting her canine playmate with a stick then wheeling around and running.  We’ve even watched in amusement as Adi and her sister Nova worked together to relocate a branch.

However, these same items are a source of great distress to her.  With certain sticks, she’ll hunker down and begin chewing on them, ingesting more wood than she spits out.  Inevitably it upsets her stomach and a mess will need cleaning later.

Watching her one day, I found myself likening these sticks to thoughts.  Throughout the day, I encounter many choosing which ones to pick up and carry.  Some bring joy, hope, and encourage teamwork.  But there are those, I pick up and chew on souring my stomach and creating a mess.  It was with the chewing sticks, Adi learned to obey the command “leave.”  In my own life, I must discipline myself to drop that souring thought before I begin to chew, leaving it.

. . .take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

© 2019-2020, Lessons from a Lab, Beth Alisan.  All Rights Reserved.

15 thoughts on “Sticks: A Lesson on Thoughts

    1. Thank you so very much Nora for sharing the Psalm that came to mind! I just grabbed my Bible and read it again. It is truly a Psalms that I need to visit frequently to maintain God’s perspective. His action plan is spelled out so clearly- fret not, trust in the Lord, do good, commit your way to the Lord, trust Him, refrain from anger, be still before the Lord and wait patiently.

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  1. Pat B

    Thanks for the great lesson, Beth and Adi! It’s made me realize how much time I should NOT be spending watching CNN and related programs. They “sour” your mind in a hurry. I’m going to focus more on the “church” channels and the Gaither Homecoming Programs!

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    1. You are so very right Pat. It is incredible how quickly the media can “sour” one’s thoughts. I too have had to bring any news related interactions to a bare minimum. Ott seems to handle the news better than I do, so I rely on him to filter and relay any important information.

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  2. So amazing how God works. All week long I have been thinking how I need to practice filtering my thoughts more. I awoke this morning to chew on 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
    Thank you for this, Beth.

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    1. GW, this makes my heart smile. I love how the Lord echoes verses He has been speaking in the most unexpected places. The battle for the mind is real and brutal, blatant and subtle which makes me all the more dependent on my time with the Lord in His word. When the darkness of this world seems oh so penetrating, I slip outside to enjoy our Father’s creation to clear my head and often find myself praying Psalm 139:17- “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” [Please share some with me]. Oh the beauty of the verses or hymns He will draw to my mind that pierce the darkness with His light. How grateful I am that He equips us with the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. May the Lord continue to bless your weekend.

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      1. Amen!
        In so much of the Bible God warns us to protect our thoughts and mind. Starting in Genesis 4:6-7 His warning to Cain of obedience has to do with Cains thought patterns leading him astray. Throughout the OT Israel and Judah’s disobedience always began when their thoughts and mind strayed from God. Though I know this well – and know the devil’s wiles in attacking the mind – it doesn’t make the battle any easier. Yes, but with the Light of Christ in us the Lord will never let a dark thought be the last word.
        Lord’s richest blessings for your weekend too, Beth.

        You will keep in perfect peace
        those whose minds are steadfast,
        because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

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