Retrain the Brain

Several posts back I talked about my dislike for trailblazing.  Hiking?  Love it!  Trailblazing?  Not so much.  But I've recently discovered that I need to step outside of my comfort zone and do some major trailblazing through my mind.  You're probably wondering what in the world I'm talking about, right?  Let me see if I can explain.

Think of your brain as a forest.  There are many trees, flowers, plants and various other resources.  We know them as thoughts, feelings, signals, etc.  To reach (or access) any of these resources, we must go down the trail that leads to the desired resource.  As with forest trails, some of our minds' trails are used frequently and are well-marked and easy to follow.  Others, however, are not traveled as frequently and become a little harder to spot and maneuver.  Does that make sense?

In my own mind, the trails leading to fear, worry, discouragement, anger, bitterness, frustration and negative thoughts are well-marked and unfortunately, well-trodden.  In fact, they are so obvious that I often find myself traveling down them without even realizing how I got there.  There are other trails that are covered with debris and cobwebs -- trails for which I must search if I am to travel them.  These trails include those leading to happiness, contentment, positive thinking, self-discipline and a host of other good traits.  Somehow, over the years, I've allowed those trails to become overgrown.  And because of their state of disarray, I've found it easier and more convenient to walk on the paths that are well-blazed.  After all, why make more work for myself, right?

Over the past couple of months, the Lord has been dealing with me about several things in my life that are not as they should be.  Nothing major, mind you, but things that bring me shame, nonetheless.  For example, the healthy living I started last year only lasted until a major crisis hit.  Then, I ran back to my comfort food, and I've been holding on to it every since.  That kind of stuff.  Stuff that won't mean a thing to you, but it certainly means a lot to me.

And do you want to know why these things are out of sorts?  Because my thinking is out of sorts.  By frequenting the familiar pathways in my brain, I'm allowing all the wrong things to dictate my thoughts, feeling and actions.  The comfortable place says, "I just can't do this."  The hidden paths say, "I can do ALL things through Christ because He gives me strength."  Time and time again, I'm heeding all the wrong advice when I know the right advice is in there somewhere.  So, it's time to retrain the brain.  It's time to blaze some new trails and to take back some of the ones that have been overgrown.  It's time to quit being so concerned with being comfortable and instead concern myself with following the Lord's will.  Out with the old and in with the new!

And the best place to start is with God's Word.  The more I fill my brain with His promises, the less room there will be for Satan's lies.  With God's Word in my heart, I'll have a much easier time controlling my thoughts and actions. 

Now, if you'll excuse the shameless plug, I've been using my book, There's a Verse for That, to aid me in my Scripture memorization and thought retraining.  There's a Verse for That is a compilation of verses taken straight from the Bible but divided into categories such as Afraid, Confused, Sad, Worried, etc.  With easy reference, I can flip open to the chapter dealing with my current state and read what God has to say about it.  There are no devotions, no comments, no fluff.  It's portions of God's Word and nothing more.  If you're going through the process of memorizing Scripture, or you, too, are striving to retrain your brain, I guarantee you There's a Verse for That will be a valuable resource.  Pick up your copy today for as little as $1.99.