Saturday, May 09, 2009

I just started listening to an audiobook by Dr. Jill Taylor, a neuroanatomist (basically a "brain scientist") had a major stroke (she was 38) which took eight years of recovery. This is her story of what's she's learned. Two things that I have already found pretty interesting.

First, she says that when you get angry suddenly because of a situation, your brain orchestrates an emergency preservation "dump" of hormones and chemicals to "react" immediately for self-preservation. ( "blow up" at something.) What I found interesting is that the body flushes these "anger response" chemicals from the body in under TWO MINUTES!!!

Then, she said, your calmer
brain has to decide whether or not to keep the anger response going! much pain could we avoid if we took two minutes when we blow up to take a break, a breath, an opportunity to ask the Spirit to help us "see" reality as IT IS, not HOW WE FEEL!

Every Christian knows the two greatest commands (See Matt. 22:34-40) are to love God and love others. Every Christ follower should also know that love is described in 1 Cor. 13 as not being "easily angered." So if you want to love more and more like Christ, don't forget the two minute time-out when your circumstances get the best of you! By the way, if you are the subject of someone's "wrath," if they won't take a two minute break at your suggestion, just tell them that it is going to take a couple of minutes for you to process the situation!

The other thing I found interesting was how Dr. Taylor talked about how much power we have to "choose peace." Again, she's talking about brain function, but I think she reminds us of just how possible it is every day to choose more peace than we think. Paul would agree: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Rom. 12:17,18

Add in the power of God's Spirit to override your selfishness, and His truth to give you a clearer vision of reality, and you're well on your way to a life of real peace! Don't wait for circumstances to align themselves to produce peace (you might be waiting a long time)...instead, embrace the gift your Father has given you...the ability to CHOOSE PEACE!

If you'd like to hear about the actual experience of a younger person having a stroke, here is a video talk she did at TED. Remember, she's talking as a scientist, but I found reasons to thank our Father for being such a great biological engineer she talked. Sad thing is that we don't use all the "features" of our brains He wants us to! WARNING: She holds up an actual human brain if you're squeamish!

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