Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Remembering the Future

I recently watched a documentary on the human memory. Interestingly, scientists discovered that the part of the brain that is activated for “creativity, imagination and problem solving” is the same part of the brain that is responsible for “memory”. They interviewed a guy who had very limited memory function, who then struggled to imagine the future.

I found this fascinating that our ability to be creative, to problem solve and to imagine our future was directly related to the information we feed our brain.

What information are we feeding our brains?

When we are looking for an answer to a problem, when we are trying to create new strategies, when we are trying to be optimistic about our future, what resources does our memory hold for us to draw from?

The extent to which we have loaded varied, positive and continual information into our brains will directly relate, I believe, to the extent to which we can come up with more creative ideas and solutions for our everyday life, and future planning.

The opposite must also be true.. garbage in - garbage out.

Our response to current circumstances will draw upon the information held in our memory.

When we are facing a challenge to overcome, have we loaded negativity into our minds, or have we loaded God's promises into our minds? Have we loaded stories of people who have overcome into our minds?

When we are feeling insecure, have we loaded our mind with thoughts of self-doubt and or past experiences of rejection by others? or have we loaded God's thoughts of us into our minds? Will we recall that we are fearfully and wonderfully made?

We must familiarise ourselves with the wisdom, promises and guidance of God, so that we can recall them on demand.

David says "I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won't sin against you." (Psa 119:11) He had fed his memory with God's word because he recognised his response to current circumstances will draw upon the information held in his memory.

Col 3:2 says "And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. "

But what if our minds are already filled with junk, with negativity, or shallow tv soaps! What can we do? Fortunately, our memories can be re-written.

Another relevant fact from the documentary is that each time we recall an event, our brains re-write that memory to be consistent with our latest recollection (which may include filling in some gaps). That's why, when we initially recall something, we might not be sure about all of the detail.. and then over time we're absolutely convinced our recollection is accurate.

The bible regularly talks about remembering. For example, Revelation 3:3 says "So remember what you have been taught and have heard. Obey it..."

That's because when we remember, we strengthen that memory in our minds. When we remember, that memory becomes clearer. When we remember, that memory becomes more prominant.

We can re-write the memories of our mind. As we recall events, or worries, or interractions with people, we can re-write our conclusion about them to be in line with the hope and the future that we know God has for us.

Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. "

What are you feeding your mind?
What resources are you giving your memory to draw from?
How will your memory imagine the future?

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