Chaplain’s Corner – Brain Training

Some years ago I was horrified to wake up in the morning with a mammoth floater suddenly interrupting my vision. I’ve seen floaters before but this resembled a huge dancing spider web and it was impossible to ignore.

A retina specialist assured me that it would eventually go away. The floater never actually disappears but the brain trains itself to ignore it and focus on the important things, he said.

In life, “spiderwebs” can clamor for our attention. Various voices–physical pain, mental anguish, overloaded schedules and deadlines, challenging tasks, strained relationships, obstinate people, or personal failures–can infiltrate our thinking in a way that obscures all else. They try to steal our peace and security. Other cultural voices speak loudly all the time but we can train our brains to ignore them and focus our hearing on what is truly important.

I personally need a daily routine; intentionally centering my eyes and ears on what I know to be true. I often highlight them or write them down, or rehearse them with my mouth, saying the things that I know are true so that my ears will learn to tune out those other voices. Sometimes I even dialogue with myself. It’s really more than what our culture labels as “self-talk,” because I say to myself what I believe God would say if he were standing in front of me–words of assurance and comfort. These spiritual words can penetrate deeper and ground me or take me to up another level and so that I can live above the warring cultural proclamations.

“God, we know the competing voices will never go away. We know the cobwebs will appear unexpectedly. Help us to always focus on the right things, and renew our minds to think the way Heaven thinks.” Amen.