In his book, “Imaginations – More Than You Think”, pg. 22, Dr. James P. Gills wrote:
“The unchecked desire, or lust, for any of the things of this world isolates us from God and will destroy us. These “vain imaginations” can include our occupation, possessions, social status, love of sports, sensual interests, or anything else that can fill our minds and become an obsession. We are so easily fooled by the wrong things. We need to have Jesus before us at all times. He promises an escape from the destruction of uncontrolled desire.”
When I was imprisoned in Puerto Rico, my mind would not keep still. There was a battle of what was happening to me with the arrest and court, between my wife, with the thoughts regarding my work, my family and friends. It was tremendous having all of these thoughts vying for not only attention but the need to speculate the end result of each one of my concerns. My eating was affected not to mention my ability to rest or sleep. It was nearly impossible for me to find any peace, until God visited with me and gave me the description, “Vain Imaginings” and taught me how to deal with it. He (God) simply described it as, “What you are imagining will be nothing like what will occur!” So, why bother, was, rather became my next thought which would take months to learn how to put into practice.
The Bible says: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” —Romans 1:21
Although there will be some who will justify this as “wasting time” since you’ve nothing else to do, what really happens is you are wasting time and using productive time God could provide you with answers and resolves bringing you peace. God knows the beginning to the end—we don’t. Does it not make sense, then, to let Him take charge over our affairs since He is aware of what is happening to us? Why will you worry over issues you have no control? So many conversations I’d have in my head what would be said in court; what the prosecutor would say, and how I would respond, and yet during the whole nineteen months of the trial process, there were no direct questions and answers I would be directly involved. It was an absolute waste of time! There was nothing I could do to soften my new ex-wife’s actions, or that of my now former employer. I learned, in time, the only tool I had when my mind would cease to run was prayer. I learned how to leave it all in God’s capable hands. My situation was better being left there and out of my hands.
Today, before writing this chapter a man was overheard arguing loudly over the phone, so much so a lieutenant in the unit called other officers to take him away to calm him. This was not the first time I heard this inmate either speaking to his wife but definitely the mother of his daughter who apparently was yelling at him and hanging the phone up, as evidence of his dialing multiple times. What is going through his mind, a man who outwardly practice his prayers being a Muslim? Not that I have anything against this man, but he has not learned to let God handle his affairs, who is more than willing to do so.
When placed in this unit, I was asked to take a top bunk in the dormitory-style living quarters. I refused due to my fear of heights, never mind issues I have being my age and physical limitations being a consideration. A sergeant was brought into the matter who berated me but it had no effect on my fear of heights. I could not produce a “lower bunk permit” although having already addressed the matter with medical and was scheduled to see them two days later. I had sought a permit the day following my arrival a month earlier and given a lower bunk without necessitating the request. The sergeant’s offer was to make it clear after my appointment if I were not given a permit he would order me to the top bunk or there would be problems. I stressed the whole weekend prior to the appointment, when God assured me He’d already handled the matter. In my unbelief, I rehearsed in my mind a later meeting, with the sergeant if I could not obtain the permit. Again, I had to learn how to control my “vain imaginings” and not let them control my life and raise my fear. In short, Medical has not given me the permit—yet, three weeks later, the sergeant has not mentioned it, and although I worked at the clinic and see the doctors, often, it has become a non-issue. God handled it!
When you are brought into the system you must remember the enemy is trying to destroy you, and this often being your peace of mind. Don’t let him plague you with those things you certainly care about, but have no control. This is when you must rest in Him and allow God to handle your affairs. Prayer, not worry, is the way to do it and if your mind is going to have conversations, let it be with God, not yourself!
Relax and think of good things.