The dictionary defines ruminating as “to meditate on; ponder”. That sounds nice and in a lot of cases it can be. But when ruminating is what call a VCR on a loop (yes, I am old….VCR…haha), it can become a personal form of torture.
I believe that God intended for us to live the day as it comes. We handle what is thrown at us, and then move on. I believe that now. I used to replay the past over and over and over again until it was starting to drive me insane. Things that had been done to me 20 years ago by people I did not even know anymore. Some people replay what they have done and their regrets, wishing they had done something differently. When I write it here, it seems ridiculous and an easy thing to stop, but it is not.
I spent years doing this. Many bad things have been done to me. I would think of things I should have said, or done. I would feel the anxiety of the event all over again. It would just play and play. I would turn on the tv, or the music to make it stop. No way to truly sit and be quiet, so forget meditation or spending time in prayer….nope, “play” is hit on the VCR and it starts playing. Therapists would do their best to either help me forget the event or give me tools to stop the ruminations when they started, but no luck.
At the age of 51, yes, I am 51, I realized another part of life, what my life should look like, and we can talk about that in a different blog. I also started a steady, dedicated time with the Lord in that prayer closet. I now spend an hour in the morning in there, reading a devotion, a few pages of the Bible and then in prayer.
In that time, I read that the Lord did not intend for us to replay things that had happened in the past. I cannot quote the chapter and verse, I have never been very good with that. Maybe someday I will get better so others can look it up. But for now, this was not His plan. He teaches you something with an event, or He uses you to teach someone else a lesson, and we never really know which. But if you did not learn that lesson, there is no reason for you to keep playing it over and over to find it, He will just give you a new lesson to learn the same thing…..until you learn it. I didn’t realize that.
I also thought that in some way I could change the past. But the person who wronged me, doesn’t even know I am thinking about them. What is the expression? “Don’t let someone rent space in your head for free” They do not know or care about what they did you me, or if they do, that is between them and God.
So in the end, I decided when the ruminations come, and they still do, because some of us are just built that way, I just say in my head “I trust you Jesus”, and if they continue, I go back in my prayer closet and I read a little in the Bible and spend some time with the Lord and when I am done…..poof, the thoughts are gone, the VCR is turned off.
As I have been saying a lot lately, we may live in a prison but we all have our own keys. The storm even rages in my own head but I can calm the storm in me, with the help of the Holy Spirit in me. Anyone can, this is God’s promise.
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