I was talking with our younger daughter and she relayed a story to which I feel women can relate. One day last week after picking up the boys from school, she realized she had forgotten something at the house, which she needed before her next stop. Returning home, she topped the driveway and decided to leave the car in the driveway and run through the garage to retrieve what she had forgotten. She entered the house, turning off the alarm, and made her way through the kitchen and into the living room. As she was passing through, she glanced out the window and thought she saw the car moving. She took a second look and sure enough the car was headed right for the house, with Jake, her 9 year old in the front seat.
Instead of exiting the front door, which was right there, she ran all the way back through the house and out the garage, a typical response of someone who was panicked. As she launched her body into the driver’s seat, Jake slammed the gear in to “P.” She said, “Jake, how did you know to do that?” He said, “I didn’t. I tried “N” and nothing happened, so I shoved it into the “P.” She sighed and said, “I am grateful you did. You and the car were headed straight for the house.” She sat for a few seconds to catch her breath and allow her heart to return to a normal rhythm.
In the silence of those few seconds Jake spoke up. “Mom, all I can say is you must have a lot on your mind.” She replied, “I do son, I do.” I am certain that no matter your age or stage of life, you can relate to Kelly’s story. We all have a lot on our minds.
In reading about the human mind, I discovered, “storage is the more or less passive process of retaining information in the brain, whether the sensory memory, the short-term memory, or the more permanent long-term memory. Each of these different stages of human memory functions as a sort of filter that helps to protect us from the flood of information that confronts us on a daily basis, avoiding an overload of information and helping to keep us sane.”
If you are like me, quite often I have so much confronting me on a daily basis that I feel overwhelmed and overloaded. At that point, my sanity is in question! Now, Jake was questioning his mom’s sanity in forgetting to place the car in “P.” She thought she had put the car in park, but apparently her mind was overloaded with responsibilities, such as ball games, the dinner menu, homework, laundry, church responsibilities, etc.
God created us with the ability to retain a great deal of information, but what happens when we have too much on our minds?
First, we forget things—often very important things! One year, my life and mind were so overloaded that I forgot to call one of our grandchildren on his birthday. On another occasion, I had a meeting with a group of ladies to talk about our ministry. Fifteen minutes after I was due, they called to see if I had forgotten or was running late. I had totally forgotten. Not good! I was extremely embarrassed about both of these situations. I had too much on my mind!
“Forgetting is perhaps better thought of as the temporary or permanent inability to retrieve a piece of information or a memory that had previously been recorded in the brain.” Previously is right! I had previously recorded our grandson’s birthday on my calendar. The day previous to my meeting, I had planned what I would say to the ladies that next day. But, because I had a lot on my mind, I suffered with a “temporary inability” to remember!
Secondly, we miss opportunities to minister to others. Because our minds are so full, we miss divine appointments. At times, the Holy Spirit has impressed upon me to reach out to a clerk at the store or to call a friend, yet because I had a lot on my mind and a lot to do, I ignored His voice. I regret the times I later discovered that the clerk or my friend had a need I could have met. I missed the blessing of being there for them.
Thirdly, when we have a lot on our minds it robs us of peace and joy. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You (Lord) will keep him (her) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.”
So, do you have a lot on your mind? Do you need to put your life in “P’ and re-examine your commitments—your priorities? God wants all of us: our minds, hearts, schedules, love, attention and availability. When we have too much on our minds we cheat Him of all He desires of us!
“But the fruit of the Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.” Galatians 5:22