How to Recover a Wandering Mind

Rodin's "The Thinker"
Rodin's "The Thinker" (Wikimedia Commons)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second of a five-part series "Why Leaders Should Practice the Presence of God." Each part of the series will focus on a quote from the Brother Lawrence classic, The Practice of the Presence of God. To view part 1, click here.

In the middle of a nice dinner, on the golf course, or while reading, my mind often drifts back to work issues. I find myself thinking about people, projects or problems at a time when I want to be relaxing my mind. It doesn't ever seem to stop.

Perhaps as a leader, you suffer a similar malady.

Brother Lawrence wrote about the drifting mind in his book written in the 17th century, The Practice of the Presence of God. Brother Lawrence identified how easy it is for our minds to wander just at the moment when we want to press into God. During a time of prayer or meditation on the Word, we may find that our mind has drifted away to some worldly concern. We might not even notice we checked the latest text message.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

"One way to re-collect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far in other times: you should keep it strictly in the presence of God, and being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings" (Lawrence).

The word "wanderings" aptly describes what happens to our minds throughout our day, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. Wandering seems normal, even when I don't want it to happen. I continue to write and rant that technology has geometrically increased the incidence of mind wander.

Try as I might, to wrestle my mind back into focus, it seems it cannot be corralled but for a little while.

Leaders often fuss about how little attention people tend to give to instructions and coaching. Is it any surprise that our words are easy to tune out? If I cannot remain focused on the things of God, how can I expect anyone to retain a teaching moment?

Part of the remedy is to practice. We must become accustomed to thinking about Him. And we must practice the art of the recall. We have to work at stopping the wanderings of our mind.

"That we should establish ourselves in a sense of GOD'S Presence, by continually conversing with Him. That it was a shameful thing to quit His conversation, to think of trifles and fooleries" (Lawrence).

Think on these things.


P.S. Do you subscribe to Ministry Today? Will you please consider doing it? 

With the link below you will receive my special publisher's offer. Our baseline subscription is $24.97. My offer to you is a one-year subscription (6 issues) for $10.00.

I'd like to know what you think of Ministry Today and would love to hear from you.

Please click here today for the Dr. Greene special.



Today's Scripture

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).



Platform Tip No. 106

As you are continually crafting and editing your message, remember that, "the Word does not return void."

The Word of God is our change agent. We aren't going to change anyone with our words and cute phrases.

Unleash the power of the Word within your message.



Do you want to learn more about developing your personal platform?

For my free eBook 7 Reasons Your Organization Suffers from Marketing Malpractice, plus 3 Things to do NOW to Prevent Further Damage, click here.


Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders