Monday, May 03, 2010

The Worn path

 At church today our preacher talked about the well worn path that went between his house and his mom's.
It was worn because it was used to often by the grandchildren as they daily went to visit their grandma.
I had two responses to that, the first one .. "awww, I love that".
The second was "Wow that can mean a lot if we liken it to our minds". The well worn paths in our minds.
I torture my kids cause I always wonder about stuff like that.

I looked at my own pattern of thinking and considered where the worn paths are. I am recognizing I have quite a few worn paths. Happily I can tell you one of the worn paths to is to my Father in Heaven that I adore with my whole being. Then I have the others from there. I have the paths that lead to my family. I love those paths, outside of God, they are my favorite, they take me to a place of joy and unbridled love.

 I have paths of consideration, on those paths I reflect so many different subjects, people for instance are something I think about a lot, why? I have no idea, it's just a well worn path. I also think about what I am doing or supposed to be doing or regrettable, should have been doing.
Music is another path, it just comes in my head, I don't purposely go on it.
My mind loves to see beauty so I usually spend time on that path. Beauty catches my attention.

Then there are those paths I don't like, the ones that lead me to heartache those are the ones of worry and anxiety. There are the paths of rebellion and stubbornness .. where I assert my rights. Those paths are very convincing but less used then before thankfully.
Of course, there are the paths of habits. Thoughts can be habits, our brain is designed to simplify our thinking - just goes to show how great God is.
Our brains actually have paths,

The way I understand it is you have all these nodes in your head associated with...things or ideas, or concepts. So every time you see say a a cup and then fill it with water and you watch the level of the water go up, a quick electrical signal makes a path between all these nodes or concepts in you head. The more often you see something, the stronger that path becomes and eventually when you hear the word 'fill', the concept of 'up' isn't very far away in your head because those two ideas have been presented to you together so often that there is a strong path between them. ( 

The Brain Likes to Race Ahead
Once your mind gets moving in a direction, be it a left-brain direction (logical, mathematical, judgmental, analytical activities) or a a right-brain one (creative, visual, spatial concepts), it tends to keep going. To illustrate this, try this easy test suggested by Timothy Foster6:
What do you call a funny story? – joke
What are you when you have no money? – broke
What's another word for Coca Cola? – Coke
What's the white of an egg? --------------------
It isn't yolk, it's albumen. Were you tricked? Most people are. The brain likes to race ahead, because it already knows the answer.

There is also the situation where my thoughts run along a path I do not want to run along, yet my mind keeps going back to it. I resist it but it seems to have a hold of me. I don't like it and it requires God's intervention to get past that. Usually, if I replace it with a different thought or direction then I have better success. It's no easy task, it's like trying to direct a stubborn animal to change direction. The thought  is  unyielding and uncooperative. Those thoughts come to the forefront and demand attention. And then go  again, running along a path I don't like.

I guess I create a lot of my life circumstances by the thoughts I have, by the paths I choose to frequent.
I know God has things to say about our thoughts .. God amazes me more and more every day.
How about this verse in 2 Corinthians 10:

By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" when away! 2I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We 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. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

and if I apply that to my own path choices I will have the discipline to have healthier path results. It takes self discipline. Firm decision and persistence. Sometimes it's a long process but in my life, I have always, in the end, over come. It's the power of God. He sees the bigger picture. I get caught up in things of this world. He sees the greater good.

So, all that from the story from our pastor at church today, telling how his children wore a path going to and from his home next door to his mom's, their grandma.

I would love to hear about the paths your mind goes on. I often wonder how similar we all are.

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11


Kimberly said...

great word picture. It's so true. I've been talking to Zack about taking our thoughts captive and replacing them with better attitudes (or pathways). Think how much better if you learn how to do that when you're young! Think of where your worn paths will be!

Mary said...

So true Kimberly. I am so glad that our thoughtful Zack is being taught such great life skills. Good job mom.

I see from a human stand point