“I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them. Like a diet of the mind, I just choose not to indulge certain appetites; like my appetite for patterns; perhaps my appetite to imagine and to dream.” – John Nash to Thomas King, in A Beautiful Mind
After Christmas I decided not to indulge in so many cookies and chocolate and soda. I did well in January but now it is February and I’m slowly letting myself indulge more and more. Just this weekend I started noticing that I’m not feeling as well both mentally and physically, and I realized that I had forgotten about my “sweets one night a week” rule. And I forgot that I wasn’t going to drink pop. And I forgot to drink any water. Or eat any fruit. And I’m feeling kind of yucky.
I also started thinking about my plan to devote a major chunk of my freedom to God in the past week. As I finished editing my last photos, I was excited as I thought about all the extra time I would have to pray, read, and give love to Eva. I am well aware of my struggle with being idle at times, so I decided to keep a good distance from the computer and to try to be very intentional with my time. I did fairly well, except the praying part. And I’m feeling kind of yucky.
After watching A Beautiful Mind tonight, I started thinking about a diet of the mind, which runs fairly close to a diet of the spirit. I have been reviewing the things that I let into my mind, and pondering how it affects me. Television, internet, books, advertisements… sometimes well-meaning but misguided, sometimes dead wrong, and sometimes aligned with my belief system, yet always have some kind of influence on me.
I read this yesterday: “Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you— take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.” – Mark 7:14-25 (MSG). The Message translation uses some pretty strong language in this verse. Of course, Jesus is talking with the Pharisees and just before this they are discussing clean and unclean food. Jesus is trying to get the point across that it really doesn’t matter what you eat, it is what is in your heart that matters, because the words we say and the things that we do come from our heart.
I know that for me, what I allow myself to take in through various media has an effect on what I vomit out. I don’t want to pollute my life or the lives of others, so as Nash says, I choose not to indulge in certain appetites. But sometimes I am forgetful and I indulge more and more. I need a diet of spiritual food and drink.
A diet isn’t just a list of bad things you avoid, it can be a list of good things you need to include in your life. Here are some good things I want to be intentional about this week, in addition to things that I already do:
– prayer throughout the day, focusing my mind on God
– focused prayer at beginning of nap time
– spending quality time with Eva (I am going to plan out some fun activities for us)
“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” – John 6:57 (NIV)