Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Response

Josh has been working with this kind of view!

God built into a portion of our brains a function that constantly filters out unimportant information and focuses on what is meaningful to us. It's called the Reticular Activating System, RAS, this is how it works:

1. Positive focusing.
2. Negative filtering.
3. Individual perceiving.

Once our minds have decided something is important-like the crying of a baby-the RAS will bring it to your attention every time. I find this fascinating, because I have noticed that since having children I can tune out everything.........but still manage to wake up at the slightest whimper from my children. I don't even HEAR the blaring of Josh's alarm clock, but I can hear MINE, if I set it. I noticed the other day how our programming is so different for all of us. I pointed out the sound of a train the other day, and I asked Josh if it ever bothers him. We have lived in this house for over a year, and that was the FIRST time he even knew the train was close enough to hear. WHY could I hear it? Do I have an attachment to trains, since my father worked for the railroad for 40 years?

I have been searching to hear more of God. You know, that "still small voice." Sometimes I have even "beat myself up" thinking that I cannot hear Him. But I am now wondering if I have been hearing Him for longer than I realized, that His voice has become a part of my RAS? Do I hear His promptings and not even realize? Have I made hearing His voice vital to my daily life? Have I filtered out the negative worldly distractions? Of course, there is always more hearing to be done......so, I am not saying that I am done learning.

But, my thought was this........our RAS records everything and will concentrate our attention on what we have previously programmed to be important. I can thank my mother for giving credit to God so many times for even the little things, so have I just grown up knowing that God speaks ALWAYS?

For example, the other day I was driving home from church in Josh's car. It was about 9 pm, and I really felt like I should not go my "normal way home." I decided to take the highway, not the back roads. I was about 4 miles from home, when the car died. My cell phone was dead. I remember being panicked, and I thanked God for the prompting to NOT go the back roads. However, I didn't FEEL like God was TELLING me to go the highway, when I went??? I want to KNOW that it's HIM....and then obey.

I realize I am just rambling, but I know that the few who read this blog will have some insight for me. PLEASE, I need your thoughts!

I don't want to lose my sensitivity to those things that I know are valuable. I have no doubt that God's voice is valuable. Does hearing God's voice just become a part of you? Am I missing something by not knowing BEFOREhand that it's Him?

Do you learn to just filter out the negative so much, that you only hear the positive? Do you become so sensitive to His Word and Spirit that you KNOW when it's not Him?

Staying positive about hearing God will certainly allow you to hear more and more of His voice. I realize the significance of RAS now more than ever. I can go outside and see the beauty of the mountains, and I never grow weary of their magnificence. Some of my Colorado natives have grown complacent.....

I do know my heart's cry:



Josh Abdelaziz said...

Baby, you always amaze me with your insights. I am so glad that you are my wife. You make me proud to be your husband.

First off, I have never heard of RAS. But, I like the idea of it. Making God's voice so important that you tune everything else out makes a lot of sense. I do believe that there are times when He does speak plainly to us. However, on a day to day basis it would seem that He speaks to us in our choice to listen and follow rather than a shouted order or command.

Good job on listening to Him. Keep it up! Love you, girl.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Serena, You have more spiritual wisdom and understanding than I see in many people that have been walking with the Lord longer than you have been alive! I am proud of the way you live your life, your openness to the Lord, and that you DO hear His voice and make every effort to joyfully follow.

I have never heard of RAS, though it certainly makes sense. Why would you not come to know the Lord SO well that you "hear" his prompting without consciously realizing it? I don't know that I think there is anything wrong with that. It certainly is evidence of a very intimate walk with Him, don't you think?

The point is, God is WITH you, and You are tuned into Him so much that hearing Him is as natural as breathing. I learn so much from you! You are an amazing woman! Love, Mrs. Sims:-)