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  • Jo de Blois

Brain Fog and our Spirituality

So, here is the story of failure. A week ago, I started to paint my kitchen cabinets. I am still recovering from Covid. Even though I feel better physically, my mind cannot be trusted. I am forgetful, it takes me 10 seconds to answer someone, I put sweaters on upside down and in reverse, and my brain is doing other weird stuff.


This brain fog of mine reminded me of a student who came to the seminary. He was from Gambia. He said that America does not experience revivals because we like cookies too much. He was referring to the cloudiness of the mind that comes after we eat loads of sugar. He linked our eating habits with our spiritual sharpness. There is probably some truth to this, but let me not distract this from the storyline.


Green cabinets

The brain fog may have impacted my choices. I chose the color green for the cabinets. I thought the green was dark, kind of natural green color like the leaves on trees. So I thought. I did everything right and did a careful job. And not only did I paint the cabinets, but also my closet doors.


When the paint dried, and the light was on, I admitted it was the wrong, most awful kind of green. It looked okay in the dark, but in the light, it looked like a poisoned snake in the garden kind of green. Hard, somewhat frightening, and plainly ugly. People had various reactions. Some laughed really hard, others pondered and hid their thoughts, some scolded me and one person said: “next time you paint, ask me first!” and two kind ones said: “This is pretty nice.”


So, I picked a new color green and I redid my closet doors. I was sure this time that this color was it. I applied it, looked at it, and realized it was even worse than the kitchen. At that point, part of me at that point wanted to burn down the house and move on, a part of me said: Keep going. Don’t give up!


Why is this story relevant? Well, I learned two lessons.

  1. Like Covid is playing tricks with me, so do I think that the imperfections of our humanity play tricks on us all the time. Sometimes, when we are in certain spiritual and mental states, we must not make important choices. For example, we feel, don’t we, when we are not spiritually-minded? When our mind is clogged with distractions, when we are too busy to focus, in other words when our soul and mind is spiritually clogged? Don’t we know when we live in a spiritual brain fog? If we do, don’t make important choices.

  2. Second, very often, we only see the truth about ourselves and our situation when bright, full, natural light shines on the choices that we make. When it is spiritually dark in us, things don’t seem. We also recognize spiritual darkness, right? When I am detached from and the light is dimmed, or out? In those states, I’m way more okay with mediocrity. Ugliness doesn't look so bad and I am more likely to live with the bad choices I make.


Cloudiness affects our witness

It’s serious, people. Christians make bad choices and mistakes most often when they are not sharp, walking in the light, and spiritually healthy. And because we represent Christ on this earth, our bad choices affect our religion.


What does the Bible say about this? It says: If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sins.


There are three important and relevant words here:

  1. Walking in the light and letting this light shine on our decisions.

  2. Fellowship with one another to ask a second opinion on whether this color green isn’t too ugly for everyone’s good.

  3. Purifies us, makes us sharp, uncloudy. That is the way to make decisions.


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