Flush Your Mind

October 22, 2006

In my life there are a number of things i’d like God to show me what to do about right now – basically i want clarity.  If my hotline to God is uncluttered then i can expect a good recption when i put a call in to Him, but if certain things are blocking the line i should anticipate some crackles on the phone.  One area i realised some time ago was having an effect on my prayer life was any time i spent watching TV (this can also be extended to listening to music or anything we read e.g. Newspapers). 

It was foggy and dark the other morning, so I was reminded that when i’m out in those conditions spiritually the only method of finding my way is to rely on my instinct or on lights (a torch or streetlamp). In life God acts as our light to show us the way, but it’s not always easy to see where His light is shining if we have other things in our lives obscuring it.

When i allow myself into the presence of certain things, i believe my instinct system, my listening ability, becomes tainted and less efficient.  I am not saying i have to step out of the world entirely, but rather be on guard.  I need to carefully guard what i fill my mind with so i may hear God more clearly and be more God-like (pure). 

As something becomes acceptable in society i can become numb to it and almost think it o.k., even bad things.  In films (movies) unGodly ways of living can be portrayed, and although there may be nothing intrinsically wrong with watching some of this, i need to protect myself from allowing it to soak into my skin before i’ve allowed God and His Word to also sink into my skin, just so that i am allowing The Truth to be my guide first.

In order to clear out the channel to God i am proposing a ‘time out’ from anything i usually fill my mind with which is not scripture or Christian music – a flushing out of my mind, like when people go on detox.  If i find it hard to give something up it’ll be a good test to see if i am addicted to it and therefore if it is an unhelpful thing in my life.
Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”


16 Responses to “Flush Your Mind”

  1. AutumnRose said

    This is an area of struggle for me too. I will do my best to be ‘on guard’ as to what I choose to dwell on today 🙂

  2. timglass said

    Our family does this about every 3 months or so. No t.v., radio, computer, video games, all in an attempt to “flush” the mind. To prioritize our lives and put God back into the top spot on our priority list.

  3. Maria Toth said

    Amen! Thanks for sharing your experiences with this. Lord, let us grow more and more into YOUR likeness because that is where we will find freedom!

    In Jesus,

  4. Father Joe said

    You can see precedence for this in the life of Jesus where he would try to get away from the crowds, either upon a boat with his apostles or by “going to the desert”.

    Many priests spend a daily Holy Hour in chapel, praying before the Blessed Sacrament, no matter how itchy they feel about getting back to the parish office or to the routine church work (clergy live where they work and become workaholics, day and night). We are also required to take an annual canonical retreat that is about five days long. Usually the settings are austire: no television, no radio, no computer, just spiritual reading and prayer, as well as walks through the woods or along a shore.

    There are even silent retreats. Could you imagine not talking to anyone except God (in mental prayer) for a week? Many if not most people could not get through a day.

    What is the purpose? We wean ourselves from the many distractions of life to focus upon that which most matters, our relationship with God.


  5. helenl said

    Hi Maria, You speak the truth: we are, indeed, subject to too much input. Quiet times may be hard to find, but some of that is because we do not try very hard. I have heard of the silent retreats Father Joe mentions. In silence, we must face ourselves, and when we do, we run to the Living God for mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

  6. Maria Toth said

    That is it – in times of silence we meet ourselves as we really are. In busyness we can hide from the reality of who we are and what needs changing! Come, Lord, increase our desire for YOU!

    In Jesus,

  7. prying1 said

    Wonderful posting Maria – I was reminded of Galatians 5:1 – Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    He will accomplish His desires through us if we let Him and you are definitly right on about becoming numb to the little things that stand between us and the Lord.

  8. Roo said

    Way back as an undergrad, I worked for a small shop with a rather unusual owner. She liked to fast (as in no food for days at a time) and during one fast she told me that she realized the eyes are truly the windows of the soul. What we see becomes becomes engraved upon us. When we watch a violent film or even a film with questionable morals, the message inherent is left within us.

    A very good insight and one that relates to your post. We must be vigilant against what we see and hear lest we let it be engraved upon our souls.

    Great post!

    Update of the Mirror challenge. The second day was much easier than the first. I’ve noticed over the last two days that I have not been looking in the mirror that much. I think we should do the mirror challenge once every month. It can be a quick retreat to shake ourselves up!

    God Bless You!

  9. M. Shahin said

    Beautiful post Maria! You are right about being on guard to what enters our mind. There is so much distractions in our daily lives, and we are assaulted from every angle. We have to protect ourselves in order not to become fogged by it all.

    A lot of people are spiritually empty, and depressed but they don’t know why. They are looking for answers in the wrong places like drugs, alcohol, money etc. If they only knew that these were just distractions and will not help them in their journey.

    God’s light is always shining but often times people’s windows are blackened out, so they cannot see it. This is how someone described it to me, and I think it is very true. Material distractions and over work without contemplating life can lead to a black window.

    Thank you for reminding me to be on guard for what enters my soul.

    Peace 🙂

  10. …amazing that how I’ve been feeling the same way and have ‘tuned out’ and ‘turned off’ alot of extra outside noise, (TV, radio, and one show I was particularily fond of) to get a sense of clarity – as you put it.

    Ps, I’m always so amazed when you can see God doing a similar work in several ppl at once.

    Praise HIM

  11. victor said

    My wife and I lately have been tuning out more shows than we did in the pass. Some shows seem to slowly try and draw us in and sometimes we go just a little further but God usually tells our heart when and where to draw the line.

    Jesus Christ might seem to some like a love sick fool but that’s only because I believe that He sees a little light at the end for each and everyone of our souls and He’s going to go for it even if we don’t ask Him. Just imagine how easy everyone could make it for Him if we said Lord I’ve been down that road before and I never want to go back again but if You’ll join me, I would be happy to accompany You all the way back to my soul because with You by my side Lord Jesus, there’s nothing that can stand between You and my Soul’s Salvation.

  12. One of my favorite times is my annual weekend retreat – 6 PM Friday through noon Sunday. It’s a silent Ignatian retreat, and the silenece is wonderful. The challenge is to carry that forward to everyday life; it’s difficult to do that.

  13. Bill said

    Love this post, Maria! There is something I recently noticed about this text that I’d like to ask you about. Let me see if I can write this succinctly…

    In my estimation, one of the most challenging texts in the New Testament in Romans 11. In Paul’s inspired conclusion of the thoughts in this chapter he marvels at God’s ways that are beyond the scope of human comprehension. Then, the next thing you know he’s stating how Christians can go about knowing the good, pleasing and perfect will of God (12:2).

    I observe that this follows the exhortation to offer our bodies as living sacrifices… I’m wondering if there are some things–even things concerning God and God’s will for our lives–that can only be learned experiencially. What do you think?

    — — —
    BTW, if you look at my blog in the next few days you might find a post very similar to this. Thanks for the prompting!

  14. Television is not a distraction for me, because we decided a long time ago that we would never have one in our home. However, I’ve found for myself that it’s easy sometimes to get caught up in blogging and e-mailing, which are things I really enjoy. While these things are not necessarily “bad” in themselves, they can become “time thiefs” to keep me from praying like I should or reading the Bible or focusing on reaching out to those around me who need the Lord. Thank you for this call to self-examination through separating ourselves from the distractions of life.



  15. Oscar said

    I was addicted to LAN games for over a year. This was the time when I really drifted away from God. But then he got me back. Yes..it did take a long time. But like one of my close friends said.”No matter what at the End of the day he WILL get you through and in the end your just gonna say THANKS FOR EVERYTHING DAD. You’ve been wonderfull to me”

  16. Maria Toth said

    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I think everyone has different sensitivities so need different levels of filter for their mind.

    In Jesus,

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