I was able to salvage the post I’d lost the other night from a previously saved version on WordPress’s website. So thankful for that nice new (to me) feature!! Here it is:
Junk food is bad for your body. Not much of an arguement there. Consider the Big Mac and fries. They usually tastes fabulous to me, but give it about 20 minutes and I start to feel gross. Entire documentaries are dedicated to the harmful effects of fast food on our bodies. If I want a healthier body I have to eat healthier food. That’s so much easier said than done when junk food is so readily available, I’m accustomed to eating it, and it tastes so darn good! As I was indulging in a cheese coney from Skyline this afternoon I was considering how our minds are much like our bodies. There is a direct correlation on my emotional and mental well-being based on what I feed my mind–what type of music I listen to, what type of television I watch, and the type of things I read. I’d like to think that I’m intelligent enough not to let music, television or reading material with negative overtones affect my beliefs or my character. However, I don’t think it really has anything to do with intelligence. Toxic information is incapable of being processed as anything else. Much in the the same way that our bodies are incapable of metabolizing junk food into proper nutrition. Back biting, disrespect, hate, malice, discontent, the sensationalism of teen pregnancy and casual sex. I know it’s hard to turn away from the entertainment value of these train wreck shows when it seems like that’s all that’s on. But when I watch them I am grieving and contradicting the Holy Spirit that lives within me. The Holy Spirit will always be there, but if I feed It junk, I’m lessening Its power. By lessening the power of the Holy Spirit unbelief sets in, “Maybe this is all just coincidence.” Disbelief will short circuit your faith before you even realize what happened. If someone hoping to get in good shape is feeding their muscles lard instead of protein, they are lessening their physical power. Lard contradicts the rebuilding of muscle tissue. Eventually heart disease and other problems set in. A slow and gradual process that one doesn’t even notice happening until it’s too late. In these days I need every bit of strength available to me from the Holy Spirit.
I started listening to a Christian radio station (K-LOVE) awhile back. I was sick and tired of the same old songs on the other radio stations. Now that I was riding around with kids in my car Sir-Mix-Alot and Snoop Dogg were no longer appropriate travel companions. I was prompted to hit the “scan” button in hopeful search of undiscovered territories on the FM dial. This was in the days before Pandora was invented. K-LOVE advertises their station as being “positive and encouraging” and hey, what do you know!! It really was! It was actually kind of refreshing to hear songs that breathed hope and affirmation instead of one night stands and relational discord. I didn’t have to worry about what the DJs were going to say next when my kids were present. It wasn’t like a switch was suddenly flipped and I made the decision right then and there to only listen to Christian music. I listened to it here and there when I was in the mood but still favored my Downtempo Pandora station (after Pandora was invented *wink*).
A few days after my world came crashing down into tiny splintering shards I needed that Christian radio station like I needed air to breathe. The perfect song at the perfect moment… There were so many of them. They are prayers set to music when I felt like I didn’t know or have the right words to say. Throughout my pregnancy it was the only thing I listened to at every possible opportunity. Now it’s just habit and it’s honestly my first preference.
I don’t mean to imply that everything else is “the devil’s music” (shaking my fist in the air at damn kids in my yard) . I just want to point out the direct correlation between the mind and what it is fed. A simple bit of discernment can make all the difference in the world, be it music, TV, magazines, etc. I’m not talking about discernment out of obligation or guilt either. Discernment because I want to! I like the joy that resonates after I’ve read or watched something uplifting. I don’t get that from reading tabloids or watching Honey Boo Boo. I savor the hope that resounds from the music on K-LOVE. I don’t get that from mainstream music. Again, I’m not knocking mainstream (or alternative, etc.) music. If it were food it might have a disclaimer on its label, “Not a significant source of spiritual nourishment”. I can ingest it. It “tastes” good to my ears. It’s not always necessarily bad for me, but it’s just empty calories. So obviously when I am in a broken state, as I was upon receiving the news that my unborn baby was “incompatible with life” (haha!!!) I needed every bit of hope and encouragment that I could possibly glean. If I were medically compromised in some way, diabetes for example, I would have to alter my diet in such a way that would benefit my physical health. Really not much difference in altering my spiritual health when I’m mentally and emotionally compromised.
When I am discerning about what I listen to and read, I strengthen my faith and gain a true sense of joy in my life throughout ALL circumstances! I’ve made that conscious choice and I know that my life is better because of it. You might feel that you can handle everything just fine on your own right now, just as I once did. That it’s not important to be discerning about what you consume. If you can only know one thing, know this: NONE OF US ARE IMMUNE FROM TRAGEDIES AND HARDSHIPS. There will come a day when you just can’t take another breath on your own. The Holy Spirit is right there in place to kick on as a backup generator–to give you supernatural strength that you cannot possibly give rise to on your own. Do you have the right fuel?
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
(Philippians 4:13 NIV)
And now here’s Nornor:
“Thanks for checking on on me! I love you!”