Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: MAP (01/31/19)
TITLE: Uncharted Territory
By Karen Vlantis
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Arrrgh, I thought I had that all mapped out. Clearly, I’m clueless!
Molly flopped backwards, over the arm of the couch and onto the cushions: frazzled, frustrated and fed up.
Snarky Screwtape! Typical! When I think I have a handle on this evil disease, he lobs ANOTHER hand grenade at me. This dementia is destroying me more than Mumsy-dear!
Her chest tightened; her heart pounded in her ears.
I thought I was on a well-trodden path – but no - virgin territory! It changes ALL the time!
Molly cricked her neck. She mulled over the situation that had erupted between herself and her 90 year old demented mother.
I wonder if Moses ever felt like this when he entered the desert, sans map. Going round in circles for forty long years with little clue on how to handle a bunch of cranky Israelites. I can understand him striking that rock…
The difference between me and Moses is that he had a pillar of fire to give him light and a pillar of cloud to direct his steps…. He didn’t need a map to find his way around - God was with him - leading him every step of the way plus telling him what to do when tricky situations arose. Here I am: lost, clueless and fobbing around in the dark!
Molly closed her eyes and forced her breathing to slow down.
Rightio! Enough wallowing for now! Molly kicked her legs over the arm of the couch and swung upright. She glanced out the window. Butterflies flitted around the purple-robed lavender bush. The Robin hopped across pruned branches. Green-collard lizards skittered over the rocks.
She smiled. So much life! So much beauty! What a shame to be alive but lost inside one’s head. The long goodbye: never a truer word spoken.
Molly rubbed her nose. I wonder if I can do anything to prevent myself from a similar fate.
She grabbed her MacBook off the coffee table, balanced it on her lap and googled ‘Brain Alzheimer's’. Images of brain maps and articles related to ‘Brain Mapping’ dominated the returned results. She clicked a video link of a 3-D Brain map.
Spellbound: she watched bursts of light pulse around the brain in an elaborate laser show - each electric flash triggered by a single thought.
Hungry for more, she clicked link after link: she fed her mind with current research, latest findings and scientific advice. Every age has its own discoveries; trail blazing Moses possibly spearheaded cartography of the desert; but, wow, look how far we’ve come: today’s new discovery, endeavors to map the human brain - exploring uncharted territories of thoughts, emotions hopes and dreams.
Her shoulders slumped. Exciting as that is - there’s no effective treatment that can hold back dementia progression: shrunken brain mass, black holes, plagues and tangles.
Deflated, she closed the lid of her laptop and sank back into the couch cushions. Her head flopped backwards. She stared at the ceiling and inhaled. Her breath trickled out. Neurons that fire together, wire together…everything you do, encounter or experience changes your brain… neuroplasticity… with your plastic brain you can build the brain you want.
Like the jackpot being hit on a slot machine, pennies in her mind clattered as they gushed down in a torrent.
Molly bolted upright, and muttered, “These findings aren’t new! Jesus taught them 2000 years ago: ’You reap what you sow’. ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind’. ‘Do not be anxious about anything’. ‘Capture every thought.’”
Molly’s eyes widened. I always thought ‘you reap what you sow’ referred to how you treat others… but no! If you constantly think negative thoughts, they will become automatic. Negative emotions will manifest and at the same time destructive chemicals will be released into the body. Likewise, positive thoughts; positive emotions.
She rested her chin on her thumbs and covered her lips with the tips of her fingers. What’s that other verse? Choose life…
She drummed her fingers. Oh that’s it… I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life; that you might live! Choose to love the Lord your God, obey Him, cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.
She grinned, “I do have my pillars of light and cloud: Jesus! He is my Light. He is my Way. He is my map book.”
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