Where does your mind go when you have a few spare minutes? When the room gets quiet, and you have silence to think about anything in the world, what do you find yourself thinking about?
Recently I listened to a lecture that talked about neural pathways. While it was a lot of scientific stuff that I did not understand, the speaker’s summary was worth the effort to listen. He said that our brains have pathways to access and store information, and the more we use them, the easier it is to access that pathway without much work. The example he used was driving to and from work using the same road every day. You have done it so often that your mind doesn’t need to strain to remember how to do it. Therefore, some days you get to work or back home and barely remember driving. The pathway was wide, and your mind quickly guided you home without stress.
The application is quite simple for such a complex issue. The things you think about the most are where your mind will naturally wander in quiet moments.
Addiction happens when you have opened a pathway to something terrible. Your mind will immediately run to “how can I get my next fix.” This can be anything from drugs to alcohol and especially pornography. The human brain will open the doors to whatever evil you expose yourself to the most.
The flip side is also true. If you spend a large amount of time reading, praying, and studying Godly, positive things, then that is where your mind will immediately gravitate toward those during free moments. This is why Paul says that Christians should be people who renew their minds (Romans 12:2). He instructs us to focus on whatever is good and noble and Godly (Philippians 4:8). The more we think about these things, the more we will naturally move that direction when we are given the freedom to open our minds.
I once heard a preacher named Joe tell the story about how his dad would always question him with this one question, “Son, where is your mind?” That was, and still is, a great question.