Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brain Food

Good Food Display - NCI Visuals Online
I've been told by people who go on various eating plans that after cutting a particular food from your diet (processed foods, simple carbs, etc), you eventually lose the craving for it.  Although I've never been able to avoid simple carbs for long enough to test the theory to its limits, I guess I can see how it works. I don't really like fast food any more since my cooking is so much better (I'm not bragging; fast food is just that bad).
Whether it works for digestive food or not, I have noticed a similar trend in my brain food.  When we first started Whatsoever Wednesday, we promised that this would be all about the positive.  We wouldn't be talking about what NOT to watch, listen to, or read, but instead about what we could do to dwell on pure, noble thoughts.  We've talked about the books, music, and movies we've filled our minds with, and it has been an overwhelmingly uplifting experience. 

While I'm not here to jump off the bandwagon and start berating immoral media, I do want to say that I no longer have the craving for unhealthy brain food that I once did.  For instance, I'm a fantasy novel junkie.  I'm still reading some fantasy novels in between the tougher Christian books, but when I came across a crude scene in an otherwise enjoyable story, I had no trouble putting the book down.  The good that I had been dwelling on seemed to repel the ugliness.  (By the way, never trust Amazon reviews)

My listening life has changed too.  Songs that I once listened to because I "liked the beat" are now sitting on my iPod, neglected.  Even better, I do crave listening to more wholesome music.  In the past, our "Christian" playlist was only played on Sundays.  Now I find myself choosing to listen to hymns on purpose, not because I feel like I should, but because I really want to.  Sure, I sometimes play some Elvis when I feel like it; that isn't wrong.  I'm happy, though, that my heart is inclining more and more to godly music.

What have I learned from this?  I've learned to look at Romans 12:2 a little differently. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."  I had always concentrated on the first half of the verse: do not be conformed.  I had always glossed over the transformation.  How are we transformed?  By the renewing of our minds.  In our Whatsoever Wednesday quest, we have been renewing our minds by dwelling on righteous things.  As a result, we are transformed.

I've also learned that when you take that first step of obedience, you can't always see the long term result.  Sometimes that first step is hard.  It wasn't easy to start trying to find Christian books to read to have a ready supply of Whatsoever Wednesdays on hand, but I knew I had to do it anyway.  The only thing I knew is that I might be helping other women to choose wholesome thoughts too.  I didn't know that it would change me from the inside to help me desire the pure and lovely.  In that change, I have seen that indeed, the will of God is good, acceptable and perfect. I intend to keep this lesson in mind the next time I'm given a hard command.  Obey because you never know what changes the Spirit will make in your life.

I may never know if I can stop craving dessert, but I do know that I am moving steadily toward the woman God has called me to be by intentionally following this command: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission 

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