Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Brain Needs Some "Happy Little Trees"

Have you ever felt the need for a Bob Ross marathon? Do they still do those on PBS? I really could use some "happy little trees" in my life right now.
My wife has pointed out to me lately that I am a bit of a grouch. I haven't really been able to see it. I've always been pretty upbeat and chipper. You know the annoying guy at work that you want to slap for being so happy? Yeah, that's me. I guess when you get used to thinking of yourself a certain way, its hard to change that image.
But when I think about it, I have been rather sullen at times. Sadly, my wife and daughter have probably taken the brunt of this shift. In the comfort of home is where we let go a little bit, so yeah, I'm probably not making the concerted effort I should while at home.
I'm exhausted. Physically, mentally, and emotionally wore out. Long days. Short nights. Full time job. Full time school. "Part time" ministry. Toddler and pregnant wife at home. Some days I feel like I'm not just saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone ... I'm kept on my feet by grace alone. Thank God for that. But my brain's bandwidth is used up. I'm teaching a controvertial series at church, moral relativism, and studying a controversial topic at school, science vs evolution (yes, I worded it that way on purpose).
Then, today while sitting at the front desk at work so that the receptionist can go to lunch, the news report on the TV is nothing but wall to wall commentary on the latest political controversy to send my blood pressure up.
As I sat there thinking about changing the channel and considering what I might turn it to, into my mind popped the memories of the ever-memorable fro, beard, and soothing voice of Bob Ross painting some "happy little trees" ... of all things.
That's when it hit me. We fill our lives with so much  tension and angst. Our conversations center around drama and controvery. Our thoughts focus on aggravations. Our entertainment tends towards conflict (sports, action shows, movies, drama, etc). How often do we just sit and enjoy simple, peaceful things? Do we make calming and peaceful things a regular part of our brain's "diet"?
We fill ourselves with all sorts of negative (or positive but exhausting) ideas, thoughts, and activities. Why do we forget that these things will/do affect us?
Philippians 4:8 clearly states, "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever thingsare pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, ifthere is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
God knows we need to feed our mind goodness and virtue and praiseworthy things. He tells us as much.
I'm thinking my mind has been malnourished. I need to make sure I give my brain the nourishing thoughts and inputs (food) it needs.
What are you feeding your brain?

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