Last week for Part 1 of the Is the Bible Boring, Or is it Me Series, I shared how growing my mind has led to overall spiritual growth.
Devoting yourself to a life of study is easy to put into practice if you're a natural born learner, if you enjoy deep thought and wrestling with challenging ideas. But, for most people, learning is tedious, monotonous and not very appealing when a new episode of your favorite show is on tv.
However, this is the 21st century. Learning has taken on multimedia formats that are exciting and engaging! Here are some methods I've found easy to implement.
1. YouTube. There is so much more to YouTube than the Harlem Shake. Try searching YouTube for a short explanation of a doctrine, a video clip of a spoken word poem, or even a sermon. Sometimes seeing someone speak about a topic is an easier way to digest it than reading words on page.
2. Starbucks. Chances are, you have a friend who is passionate about growing in her faith. Invite a friend to meet you for coffee and share what God has been teaching her. Better yet, gather a group of friends! Create your own secret society, complete with a fun name. Ask each other lots of questions! Be open and honest that you want to grow your mind to further spiritual growth.
3. Audiobooks/Podcasts. My husband really enjoys reading, but often doesn't have the time. He's found that listening to audiobooks during his commute is a way to learn something while sitting in Seattle traffic. My favorite thing is when he walks in the door after a long day, excited to tell me something he just learned via audiobook. I also enjoy listening to a variety of podcasts that I have found in the religion and spirituality category.
4. Open your eyes. Creation speaks of His glory constantly. The Bible itself often uses images of nature, such as trees, birds, or agriculture. Sometimes just pondering the beauty of creation prompts me to learn more about Him, or at least offers an unexpected moment of worship.
5. Reading. Maybe you decided you didn't like reading back in high school, or had to read so much in college that you fried your brain. Well, things might be different now. Choose a topic that you're interested in and find the best book you can find on the topic. Ask your friends who are readers for recommendations. There are so many good books to be read, but there are also a lot of baaaaaad books. Don't let that stop you! You might even consider starting a faith based book club when you can journey together through a specific book and see what you are each learning.
Look for ways to fit these things in at times of your day that you might not normally consider. One of my favorite times of day to is when washing dishes or folding laundry. Something about the manual labor frees my mind to be open to new ideas and thoughts.
A caution: I must urge to proceed with care. Not everything out there is valid or even useful. Weigh what you discover carefully against God's Word and see if it's something that gives you increased understanding. Be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He is the one who ultimately grants you spiritual insight.
How do you expand your mind?
Most days Keri can be found cruising in her Swagger Wagon, reading a good book, or laughing with friends over large cups of coffee. She finds great fulfillment in serving those who might not walk through the doors of a church, but still desperately need the Hope that only God can give. She also enjoys learning about God through unorthodox means, and occasionally blogs about it at Pop Parables. She also gets in touch with her creative side at BringingCraftyBack. Keri lives in the Greater Seattle area with her husband, their three boys, and 2 weiner pups.
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