Last week it was all over the headlines: President Obama turns loose $100M to start an initiative to unlock the mysteries of the human brain. “There is this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked,” Obama says. No doubt! I, too, have been fascinated by the way my brain works. In fact, I’m often baffled by how people think. And just so you don’t get the wrong impression, I fit into that classification of ‘people’ with sensible thoughts one moment and totally illogical thoughts the next. Try mind mapping that! I’m not slamming the research project itself. I understand the mission behind it – “aims to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury,” the White House said. I get that.
There’s a brain research project that’s 100% free though and the benefits are eternal. Our pastor, Frank Snyder, has been teaching a series on being spiritually fit since the beginning of the year. Every week we revisit the truth, “Right thinking leads to right doing.” No amount of brain research is going to alter that truth. There is a map in our brains and all paths stem from the initial thought. To act right, the thought has to be right. How often do we get onto a path of wrong thinking, worry, pessimism, negativity and then wonder why our days seem gloomy. Have you ever wished there was such a thing as dialysis for the mind? I sure have. I have a friend who has dialysis on a regular basis. I have zero medical expertise, but I know that in that process his dirty blood is drawn through a machine that cleanses it and puts it back. In dialysis, manmade equipment and procedures perform the life-preserving act. With our minds it’s all us – and the Holy Spirit, of course. Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The ultimate dialysis — Do not let the world squeeze you into its mold. But be transformed by renewing your mind. It’s not easy, but renewing our minds is the only way to think rightly.
It would be a phenomenal achievement if my brain could be mapped with all the right paths deeply embedded so I don’t fall off the track. It would be so much easier, if I could hook my brain up to a machine and have the contents cleaned up and put back while I do nothing but wait. What are your thoughts on that? Well, don’t think too long because that’s not how it works. You know … free will and all. We have work to do in our minds, in our hearts, and in our acts. If we get the inside right the rest will take care of itself. How can we focus on the right things, so our acts will be right? We have some clues in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Let me assure you. If our thoughts are obedient to Christ, the map in our brain will lead to acts that follow Christ and are good. 1 Peter 1:13-16 from the message says it so well – So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
Maybe you have it all figured out, but me? I’m still working on spiritual dialysis and mapping my mind to right actions.