Hope for the rigid mind

Most would agree that the older we get the more inflexible our thinking becomes.

When we are young, the whole world is open to possibility. There is nothing we can’t dream or or accomplish. Our minds are supple and welcoming of new things.

Then life happens. We become older and we begin to experience things that change our thinking and our minds that were once spry become rigid. The once positive mindset may now view life with a jaundiced eye.

The fancy scientific term for it is called “Neuroplasticity”. The ability our brains have to change with new experiences. New experiences reorganize neural pathways in our brains thus shaping it.

A children’s educational website explains Neuroplasticity this way.

Imagine making an impression of a coin in a lump of clay. In order for the impression of the coin to appear in the clay, changes must occur in the clay — the shape of the clay changes as the coin is pressed into the clay. Similarly, our brains take the shape of our experiences.

This rigidness our brains can experience can sound like a death sentence for some of us.  A sentence that says “I can never change”. “My experience has marred me forever”, or “I could never let that go”.

But there is a transformative power at work in the Bible. God knew this when He inspired Paul to make this statement. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Rom 12:2

Experiences can change us and impress themselves on our brains like the king’s seal on wax, but then there is is the hope of these words,: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.

The Word of God counteracts the ability of life’s destructive experiences to form and shape our minds spiritually and physically. Where rejection tries to warp your brain into thinking you are abandoned and something less, God says “we are seated in heavenly places in Christ’.  When you feel like you were left for dead from a great loss God says “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me”. When your brain gets into the rut of thinking”I can’t break that bad habit, His Words says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

This is the “new and living way” God speaks of in His word. One that allows us to continue “becoming” . One that resists the static emotional and mental death that comes from tragic experiences and transforms the way we see them into hope, and like the apostle in the midst of the fire say “I know that this shall work to my salvation”