Train Your Brain For Thanksgiving

Yesterday our church community celebrated the goodness and generosity of God. It was a truly beautiful day of worship and thanksgiving. As we opened up the floor for people to share the things they were thankful for I remembered a particular passage I read in a ery insightful book I read a few years back.

Jim Loehr is a clinical psychologist who founded the Human Performance Institute, a training facility that helps world-class athletes and business leaders achieve greater performance in their lives. Jim has written a few New York Times best sellers. In his book The Power of Story Jim writes about the science of the brain. “Broadly speaking, brain mapping shows that neural architecture is shaped by each stimulus experience. Many neuronal pathways appear ‘well paved’ because electrical impulses travel them regularly and often – in response, say, to the faces of our family, tasks we do at work, habits we follow or hobbies we love. With each repetition of these familiar experiences (often habitual, often unconscious), the pathway further increases its load capacity. So long as these roads continue to be well-traveled, they will continue largely to define who we are – until new pathways form for energy to travel more easily, which would bring with it change in our feelings and actions, a change in our reality, and ultimately a change in the story we tell ourselves.”

In other words, the ongoing stinking stories we tell ourselves along with a complaining, ungrateful spirit actually shape the way our brain’s function and see “reality” in the world. In the same way, the accurate story of God’s goodness and grace connected with a grateful, thankful spirit shape our brain in such a way that it will make a “change in our feelings and actions, a change in our reality, and ultimately a change in the story we tell ourselves.”

I encourage you to take this week to give thanks, knowing that in doing so you’re training your brain to live in the reality of God’s goodness.

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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2 Responses to Train Your Brain For Thanksgiving

  1. Gina Weeks says:

    Andy this is so true and can be so hard. My mom has the natural tendency to be positive and my dad the negative. Most of the time I am more like my mom but I am noticing that as I get older and I am going through ‘stuff’ my first response is to go to the negative. It is a struggle at times to look at things through God’s eyes.

  2. Andy Lewis says:

    Hey Gina. I know what you’re talking about. I look at people who live in the positives and I wish I could live more like them. I’ll guess I’ll just keep working on training my brain.

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