We were returning home from a short trip Monday morning when I suddenly was aware of my mind wandering down a path that was not entirely productive. These things do happen, but one hopes and aims for higher things, right? So I quickly riveted my thoughts back to something more honorable.
As someone who has experienced the darker side of what the internet has to offer, I am fully aware of the paths our thoughts can take. One minute we’re mentally processing some very practical matter, and the next minute a movie is playing in our heads that we would not want to be projected on the worship lyric screen on Sunday morning.
However, as someone who has also experienced seasons of the liberating freedom of not being a slave to online addiction, I know that even in those much healthier periods my mind is capable of conjuring up some equally “where did that come from?” images and narratives. I don’t believe that this is the product of a dirty or perverted mind, but more the product of the dual nature that all of us — male and female — wrestle with.
So as I confronted my own thoughts, I was suddenly aware of the argument that the mind uses to try to derail any attempt at mental cleanup: You can change your thought pattern now, but you know that a minute later it will be right back where it was.
Of course, this is not entirely true. You can change your thought pattern immediately and that can be the beginning of an entirely new period of focus on something else.
But the response I’ve been formulating more recently goes more like this:
Yes, 60-seconds from now my thoughts may go right back where they were, but right now, I control this minute. I control where the next 60-seconds are going and I don’t have to be slave to unhealthy thoughts for that minute.
Some of you reading this may already be in the middle of an online battle that you’re currently not winning. But again, as you sit at that computer and consider the possibility of clicking on those all-too-familiar web addresses, may I suggest that, with God’s help, you stand strong and say, “No, I control this minute; and while I may weaken and while I may waver, this is one 60-second block that’s not going to be spent in places I should not be.”
In a world where we are constantly being stimulated by a variety of media and those media’s after-effects, perhaps the popular AA line, ‘One Day at a Time,’ ought to be rewritten as ‘One Minute at a Time.’
In a fast-paced world, we succeed and triumph or we crash and burn on a minute-by-minute basis.
You control this moment.