StovetopI stepped into the kitchen bleary eyed. I needed to wake up if I was going to get to church on time. I started to set a bowl on the counter when I noticed movement. Aaaargh, ants. I clunked the bowl on the stovetop instead.

I pulled out a glass and went to the sink to fill it. Oh no. There were ants everywhere. My skin started to crawl. Where did those things come from overnight? I needed to concentrate on making breakfast, but my mind raced to create a plan to eradicate the little buggers. [pun intended]

Spray ‘em with the ant killer can. Can’t do that where I prepare food.
Spread Borax. Somebody said that would work. There’s none in the house.
Drown them with the bathroom cleaner. It’s got bleach in it. Good idea.

BleachI sprayed the ants in the sink and coated the backsplash. My hands went back to making oatmeal, but my thoughts were distracted. When I opened the dishwasher to load my dirty dishes and silverware I stared in disbelief. Ants covered the bottom.

I slammed the door shut and fled to the bedroom.

I fumbled into my clothes as best I could. Options, plots, and disastrous results assailed my brain and jangled my nerves. I cleaned the house thoroughly yesterday. What do I have to do to get rid of those things? Don’t tell me I’m gonna have to learn to live with ants everywhere.

I looked at the clock, calculating how long it would take me to get there. If I didn’t leave right away I was going to be late. As I drove down the street my body relaxed and my thinking started to clear. The ants were tiny insects. They certainly weren’t going to take over my life. But my brush with that threat was a good reminder of another kind of pest.

Automatic Negative Thoughts (A.N.T.)* can turn a minor incident into a major debacle. You know what I mean. You’re getting ready for an event and the idea that a certain person, one you’re uncomfortable with, might attend strikes you. Or you suddenly realize a certain aspect of your plan isn’t going the way you wanted it to.

Your mind dwells on the detail and spawns countless possible scenarios. And as I was distracted and sent into a tizzy by the sugar ants, your A.N.T. attack drains you and prevents you from enjoying the day.

Raid canRaid doesn’t make an A.N.T. formula.

You can’t buy A.N.T. buttons at the grocery store.

But we can retrain our brains away from the A.N.T. habit.

As soon as negative thoughts hit we can submit them to the Lord to follow His “Come to me” directions in Matthew 11:28. Then we can choose Him as our topic to ponder. Or, as my friend Doris does, we can focus our eyes on the Lord’s silver lining.

We can even call on Holy Spirit as our ally, asking Him to alert us as soon as our minds head in the A.N.T. direction. And we can turn the opposite way by His intervention.

Being consistent for even a short period of time builds the positive circuitry in our brains. More importantly, by engaging in the battle with God at our side deepens our relationship with the One who guides and guards our steps.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV1984 Share on X

May the Lord grant you victory over the A.N.T.s in your life.

with confidence in His power,

*A.N.T. is not original to me. I can across the term on the internet some time back.

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