When Our Minds Turned to Mush

January 5, 2021

You know how Google and Amazon and Facebook and the whole internet knows what to send you? How you watch one YouTube thing about some dude cutting down a tree, and for months your feeds are overrun with videos of lumberjacks and sawmills? (This is happening to me in real time.)

Well, right now it feels like every other ad, article and offer I get, besides chainsaws, is about the top 10 current shows on Netflix or Acorn or Amazon Prime. And I click on them because unfortunately I really need…er…want to know. Penny and I have watched waaaaaay too many movies and shows (especially British mysteries) over the past 9 months and I’m always looking for another good one.

All this to say…I’m afraid my mind is turning to mush.

Back when I wore real pants, I used to read a lot of books and articles and, in preparation for preaching, a bunch of Bible commentaries. I made good use of highlighter pens. I was on top of my game intellectually.

But lately, for reasons we all know and shall not be mentioned, my mind has become lazy. I have replaced stimulation with comfort. And I have been sidetracked from intellectual growth by existential crises. Even trying to sit down and just read a book is hard, for reasons I can’t fully explain.

Then I happened upon this two days ago as I was trying to spend a few moments in the biblical book of Proverbs.

My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.

Proverbs 2:1-3 NLT

I was struck by the six different action verbs listed…”listen to, treasure, tune to, concentrate on, cry out for and ask for”. The writer was making a strong case for his child to get after it in seeking wisdom, insight and understanding. It hit me pretty hard. I certainly haven’t been getting after it. I’m mostly consuming what is fed me.

Maybe this is a confession. Or maybe this is an enlistment. But in addition to taking better care of my body and soul in this pandemic reality, I plan to attend to my mind, and I’d encourage you to join me.

Can I get wiser even in a mind-numbing time? I think so. I’d like to emerge from the next few months sharper with growing insight.

And then you and I can sit down with a glass of wine and have a wonderful conversation. And I’ll even wear real pants.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Michelle Williams

    I love this article! It prompted me to write down another one of God’s truths for a list that I intend to share with my children as they grow older. That truth is that when you authentically seek God’s wisdom, it will be granted. I have experienced this truth time and time again in my life. It also brought to mind an article I wrote when we were studying the Psalms a couple of years back: https://gracechurch.us/articles/first-last-psalms-life-in-waves I would say that 2020 was most definitely a period of “ebbing” for many people–I also certainly experienced it in many ways. One of the lines from that Psalms devotion was, “Respecting the ebbs allows God to redeem them.” Although we may not appreciate some of our ebbing periods in life (like minds turning to mush), they certainly give God the space to show us His grace.

    Also, I hope you find the perfect sawmill! Haha!

    Reply
    • Dave Rodriguez

      I love that perspective, Michelle! The ebbs and flows are both important and that they work together in our whole life development. that is, of course, if we are paying attention in them. I always appreciate your insights!

      Reply

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