What race are we running? …and why “it matters” to our brain

What race are we running? …and why “it matters” to our brain

What race are we running?  …and why “it matters” to our brain

Traditions are experiences we routinely schedule our lives around; we lean on them with our full trust. Traditions include our habits and our ways of organizing life and relationships.

But false traditions are built on a faulty foundation.  Consider the SAT test.

It matters. We’re building new brains – everyday.

Research is recording incredible discoveries in the field of neurology.  Good news!  The brain we’re born with is not the same brain that will accompany our physical bodies to its death.

The brain we woke up with today isn’t the brain we’ll take to bed tonight.

From Jeffrey Schwartz and Sharon Begley’s, “The Mind and the Brain – Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force” – 

“The importance of this second process (volition – the contents of our consciousness) cannot be overstated, for it allows human thoughts to make a difference in the evolution of physical events (p. 19-20).

But the brain is more than a reflection of our genes (p. 365).  It (…is therefore shaped by and etched with the trees of our experiences – the barrage of sensory stimulation that our peripheral nerves pass along to our brain, the skills we acquire, the knowledge we store, the patterns our thoughts and attention make.  All these, an much more, leave their mark” (p. 366).

From Dr. Caroline Leaf’s, “The Gift In You – discover new life through gifts hidden in your mind” –

There is not an expiration date on potential.  We can see this clearly in science too, as we understand more now than ever before about the neuroplasticity of the brain – the ability the brain has to rewire itself.  This proves that the networks in our brains can change.  If the brain gets damaged, it can change to compensate, proving that God is serious in Scripture when He tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2).  Renewing our minds is a physics reality and a scientific fact!” (p. 16-17).

“If we work with how our brains are wired, we can develop and change areas of our brains and live out of our true selves” (p. 17). 

False traditions matter; they’re the paths we walk in our lives.

These paths – especially in our minds, are building and renewing and rewiring our brains.


So much hope.  Or devastation. Should we take a different path?

Are we building with:

  • entertainment or leisure?
  • relationships or isolation?
  • fear or love?
  • striving or trusting?
  • mature or immature?
  • real or artificial?
  • hope or anxiety?

Our choices matter more than we may ever know; our boundaries matter more than we may ever know.  Protection matters; shepherding matters.

It matters that we are “seized by the power of great affections*” instead of “seized” by lesser affections — perhaps performance standards and pain relief. (*…a line from one of my new favorite Andrew Peterson songs.)

Upcoming blogposts will share insights on these false traditions – and their potential impact on building our brains:

  • children’s books (first published in 1940)
  • adolescence (introduced after WW II)
  • children as performers and producers, instead of persons
  • 100%, instead of trust and grow and learn
  • entertainment, instead of leisure
  • IQ and attention (volition) are pre-set and stable (increase in diagnostic labels in recent decades)

There is tremendous hopeRead more about our work in offering education that builds healthy brains – and healthy lives, and please leave a comment to start a conversation.