Restless Mind Syndrome

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 

I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. 

For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let Your holy one see corruption. 

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:7-11

Insight

Throughout my entire life I have been an extremely active guy. I am not even just talking about sports or athletics; I am talking just non-stop energy. I have a ton of relational and physical energy. I am definitely someone you have to be ready to do a road trip with because I am either singing or talking the entire way because I’m full of energy and get antsy.

A part of my body I never thought would be considered restless is my mind. Now at 26 I truly know I suffer from Restless Mind Syndrome. If you need to picture what this looks like, imagine Restless Leg Syndrome but with your mind. 

I am in a constant state of thinking. I can be flooded with good thoughts, bad thoughts, neutral thoughts, strange thoughts, but never an absence of thoughts. It is still a work in progress for me to engage with my mind in a way which brings a bit of peace to the bombardment of my thoughts. 

One of the most effective practices I ever learned was to have a main thought I always put in front of the others. This main thought I discovered had to be one I could recall that would keep the other thoughts at bay. The thought has to have some weight and it has to be meaningful. The thought I continually draw to the front of my mind is that I am God’s child. 

In Psalm 16 David declares, “I have set the Lord always before me…” The reason David set the Lord before Him is because he wanted the Lord to be his focus. We tend to focus on what is right in front of us. I have plenty of experience being in front of someone, but they did not hear me because they were focused on their phone. This is just how we are made. 

When David set the Lord before him he began to see God’s goodness. As the psalm goes on David writes, “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” David could not have understood these truths unless God was his focus.

The same is certainly true for us. We often find ourselves overwhelmed and stressed out because we let the demands of life be our focus. When stress is our focus, we only become more stressed. When we make the intentional shift to allow God to serve as our lead thought suddenly the stress has to play in the background. 

We cannot simply ignore the stress and expect it to go away, rather we bring stress under submission to the reality of God’s character and being. He makes known to us the path He has for us and He gives us joy despite our circumstances when we are in His presence.

The restlessness in our mind will only truly cease when we are in Heaven with our Creator. As we continue to journey here on Earth, we do not have to be a victim to our thoughts. Our game-changer will always be the practice of keeping our focus on God and even making Him the most constant thought in our mind. As we begin to focus on Him, we begin to still our minds. I do not know about you, but I truly cherish those moments I get completely focused on God. I experience a special peace in life – a peace that comes from being in His presence and being reminded God is always in control.

Reflection

  • Do you feel you suffer from Restless Mind Syndrome? What are some of the triggers that set off your restless mind?

  • How often do you feel you bring God to the forefront of your mind and focus on Him? What are some practical steps you can make to focus on God?

Prayer

Father, thank you for allowing me to be with You and so close to You. I am grateful I am able to find peace of mind and rest when I am focused on You. I know I am safe in Your hands, and You alone bring me true joy. I pray I continue to focus on You and make You my most constant thought. I love You Father and pray all of this in Your Holy Name, Amen.

PC3 writer Davy Nance wrote today’s devotional.

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