Before I hit play on the DVD, I tell my students we’re going to watch the movie clip with Spanish audio and with Spanish subtitles. “There’s a problem, though,” I tell them, “because Disney hired one person to translate the audio and someone else to translate the subtitles. The words aren’t the same! They essentially say the same thing, but the word choices are often very different.”
They look at me like this is going to be an impossible task.
But I tell them what I’ve discovered: I can watch a movie and listen to one sentence, while comparing it to how that same idea is expressed in the subtitles. I often even have a quick thought about which way I would have chosen to express that thought in Spanish.
“So you can do this,” I say. “God has made your brains to be able to process two different things at the same time. Isn’t that amazing?”
Then I tell them about how I’m a piano player, and my right hand can play certain notes while my left hand can play completely different notes. My right hand can play loud and fluidly while my left hand plays quiet, staccato chords. And that doesn’t even include the fact that my foot is running the pedal down below, moving up and down at just the right times so that the sound is connected but never muddy.
Let’s take this idea to your prayer life. You can use your brain to move you through your daily routine, while talking to God fluidly at the same time.
If you’re waiting for the day when your schedule will open up so that you can sit for an hour or two and pray, I say to you, “No, no, no.” Prayer is for right now, while you’re scraping plates into the garbage or balancing your checkbook or reading a book to your toddler.
You know one of my favorite verses is Matthew 22:37 (NIV):
Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your…mind.”
That means to pray with your mind at full capacity, using it for the mundane and the creative while using it for sweet communion with God all day long.
If the apostle Paul could quote scientific brain studies, I think he would, but instead he just says:
Pray continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV)
Use your whole brain function, to be in conversation with God while you work through your normal tasks. Then what happens is that there aren’t such things as normal tasks anymore. You’re working in a mobile sanctuary, and everything becomes sweet and shrouded by the Holy.
Of course, you’ll have to practice, just like the little kid who swings his legs at the piano bench and sticks out his tongue in concentration, trying to get both hands doing different things at once. It’s a little awkward and takes great effort at first, but you’ll get the hang of it.
God gave you an incredible brain. Use it to enjoy being with him today.