7th February

Wandering Thoughts

I will be quiet and listen to you. Job 6: 24

Our ideal should be to give our utmost attention to the words of whoever is speaking to us, or leading a meeting or worship. However, some of us suffer from wandering thoughts. This may be because we are too busy, and as we sit back, unattended business comes crowding in to our minds. This tells us that we need to do less and make our life style more simple. Or our thoughts may wander because we have repressed ‘primal inner material’ that has not been attended to; when we sit back this pops up to the surface. Take hold of something that pops up, and get to know that thing that has been repressed or unacknowledged and let Jesus pray with you for it. Our wandering thoughts may be because we are flowing with creativity, and these energies need to be taken at the flood. If so, write down the thoughts and the inspirations that are coming to you, so that you can do something with them as soon as you have opportunity. Your wandering thoughts may be because the brain is made like that, in which case there is nothing you can do about it. Bless whatever thought has wandered into your mind, and bless it as it wanders on its way, and then bless God for the words being spoken to you in the present moment. Return to being fully attentive!

God help my thoughts!
They stray from me, setting off on the wildest journeys.
When I am in church, they run off like naughty children,

quarrelling, making trouble.
When I read the Bible, they fly to a distant city, filled with beautiful women.
They slip from my grasp like tails of eels;

They swoop hither and thither like swallows in flight.
Dear, chaste Christ,

who can see into every heart and read every mind
Take hold of my thoughts.
Bring my thoughts back to me
and clasp me to yourself.
Prayer of a Celtic monk