We’ve all had it, I’m sure. You’re innocently using the computer and suddenly you get some cryptic computer-jargon message (apparently it’s called a ‘dialogue box,’ but that’s a bit silly considering that we can’t talk with the computer!) saying, “General error, the program needs to close.” What can you say? Apparently it’s some file or script error and re-starting the computer is the way around it.
And the same happens with our brains to a certain extent. We get these ‘scripts’ and ‘programmes’ running that just cause us to terminate what good thinking might be happening at the time. It’s called anxiety and worry and fear. We track off into the past or the future for a moment and then the programme of our effective thinking stalls. Time for technical help perhaps?
The humanist community might call us to become ‘aware,’ so that we can control our thinking on manual mode, just allowing stimulus from our surrounds, and any deliberate, normal cognitive thinking to take place. They would tell us, ‘Just be present,’ and focus on your breathing.
It shouldn’t be that hard should it--to just be present? I tried the technique on the way home from work one evening and I got distracted off ‘being present’ so many times there must be eternal ruts in my mind.
Paul tells Timothy that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
–2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV).
We’ve all heard the term, ‘Junk in, junk out,’ relating to computers. Well, our minds are the processing unit for what we eventually do in life. We think of junky things, and yes, we then do junky things.
Our thinking is like the car that cruised slowly past me; for a time, that car was plain out of sight. I had to deliberately and purposely check it was still there. For a moment I thought it had vanished. My experience wasn’t based in truth and therefore my mind started to believe something that wasn’t real. But then the car in my blindspot did eventually re-appear.
Our thinking, similarly, has to deal with all sorts of blindspots that prevent us from seeing truth and reality--we will generally only believe what we can see. But, if our thinking is subsumed by a blindspot, we’re making decisions based on bad data. Life is suddenly going from bad to worse, as the false script reinforces the negative quickly down toward the sinkhole syndrome of concern, anxiety, fear, dread, and a myriad of other forms of ‘nothing’ thoughts, which can only be destructive.
We make thousands of incorrect assumptions every day when our thinking is not based in truth. (And to think otherwise takes a whole deal of training, which I’ll get into next article.) Erroneous thinking impacts incredibly badly not only on our decisions, but also on our relationships. At best it’s counterproductive, and at worst, it’s plain destructive.
We learned through the above quote of Paul’s that a sound (and sensible) mind is a gift from God’s Spirit.
So, if God’s gift is a sound mind, where does the junky thinking come from? You guessed it! It’s the Devil in disguise, and he’s messing with us. Why be duped? The Devil might want it that way, but why should we succumb when there’s by far a better way for us and everyone connected with us?
Now, all the ‘Devil talk’ might be putting you off… let’s change the subject. Let’s just get into some “awareness” as purported above.
The advice I read recently made so much sense to me I decided to give it a try, and strangely it works. I think it’s but one technique God gives us to enjoy his gift of a sound mind.
Enjoy part two of this series in a few days…
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.