Thursday, July 06, 2006

Romans 8:1-11

One of the concepts I think a lot about is what I call “brain space”. I know, I know, it sounds weird. But what I mean is that in my brain, at least, I only have so much space available for thinking about any given thing.

For me, a lot of my brain space is taken up with sermons. When I’m putting together a sermon, there really isn’t much space left in my brain to think about anything else. I love preaching, so don’t get me wrong, but that is one of the reasons I also love Sunday evenings. I get my brain back for a while.

This passage’s comments on “setting our minds on the Spirit” makes me think about “brain space”; about what I’m spending the bulk of my time thinking about, how I’m investing my mental energy, and what the images are that occupy me. Frankly, a lot of my brain space is wasted on trivial and insignificant things. So, for many years now, I’ve been training my brain to think more about God than gardening, more about the church than what I want for supper, more about spiritual things than about whatever it is that has captured my fancy in the moment.

Recently, one of the things that has really helped me in this is podcasts. A friend gave me the wonderful gift of an MP3 player, onto which I download a variety of messages about living life close to God and building a church that facilitates such a life. I listen to it when I’m gardening or walking or driving (one ear bud in, one ear bud out so I can hear what is happening around me) or as I’m laying down to rest. I keep a piece of paper and pen in my pocket so I can jot down thoughts I want to pursue more at a later date.

How about you? To what are you giving your brain? What’s filling up your “brain space”?

“The mind is a terrible thing to waste,” a commercial once said, and I’m sure Paul would agree. What are we putting our minds to? The life of the Spirit (which, I think, can include things like a beautiful sunrise or flower when we let them move our hearts in awe and appreciation to God), or lesser things which, although consuming and perhaps even urgent, in the end don’t much matter or have lasting significance.

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