How often do we need to renew our minds?
I was thinking about this yesterday while sweeping our deck.
There are a couple mature trees near our deck, and their branches hover over the deck. They provide lovely shade — but also leaves. If I don’t keep the deck swept, leaves get tracked into the kitchen. They drop a few leaves every day in the summer. I can stay on top this easily, just sweeping once or twice a week.
In the fall, though, I keep the broom right by the door. The deck needs cleaning every time I step out. Some days, the leaves are ankle-deep.
It struck me today that this is a lot like my mind. Some seasons (varying stretches of time, from hours to weeks), my mind is pretty clear and focused. Some seasons, though, it’s thoroughly cluttered with doubts, distractions, and distortions.
When I teach about renewing the mind, people always ask, “How often do I need to do it?”
Now, I tell them this story, and say: As often as the deck of my heart and mind needs sweeping.
Renewing the mind involves things like prayer, journaling, reading, and meditation, focused specifically on the topic that’s messing with you. If you’d like to know more about this practice, I highly recommend The Renewing of the Mind Project by Barb Raveling.
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