Thoughts and Buffets

Puritan theologian John Ryland wrote:

"Next to the regulation of the appetites and passions, the most important branch of self-government is the command of our thoughts: which without a strict guard will be as apt to ramble, as the other to rebel."

People who know me well know that I can't be trusted at a pizza buffet. Unless I've been really disciplined in my exercise regimen or am not planning to eat for 3 weeks, pizza buffets exhaust me because they take all the self-control I can muster. It's hard to regulate appetites and passions.

It's also tough to regulate our thoughts. Most of us know that and work hard to keep our thought life from rebelling. Men in particular, unless they're fools, take special precaution to guard their thoughts from rebellion.

But how many of us go to equal lengths to keep our thoughts from rambling? We seem to think it's a lesser sin to waste our thoughts than it is to abuse them by thinking about the wrong things. According to Ryle, either end of the spectrum is poor stewardship.

We should discipline ourselves, not only to not think about the wrong things; we should discipline ourselves to dwell and focus on the right things.