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... From the Goodnews archives, Mar/Apr 2008


 

The Other Half

The Other Half

 

 

 

I’ve just spent a very pleasant hour solving puzzles, both Sudoku and the more challenging Kakuro! Some people might think that a complete waste of my time but I believe I need to exercise the little grey cells in my brain more and more as I get older. I’ve never been very interested in crosswords, but numbers have always fascinated me so it was with great joy that I discovered the latest Sudoku craze. I’ve also managed to find a book which explains how the puzzles are created - even my most learned friends and relations were ignorant on this topic.

Anyway, I’m becoming more and more convinced that soon we will all have to find a “mind exercise” which suits us as the need to think seems to be eroded more each day. It all started (in my humble opinion!) when we switched from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal coinage. For the sake of any younger readers - our coins were 1d, 3d, 6d and 1shilling (12d), 2 shillings and half a crown (2/6d!) Adding and subtracting produced a constant source of mathematical challenge. Now we no longer need to consider multiples of 3, 6 and 12 when adding up our wealth - most of which, for children, was in coppers. Money sums now just involve moving a decimal point!

The latest destroyer of “mental exercise” is the SAT-NAV. Yes, I know that this can provide peace and tranquillity on a journey which is preferable to the tension and discord which can be produced by misunderstandings between the driver and reader of the map! Believe me, I’ve been there - but I have improved a lot since we went on a treasure hunt and finished 5 mins after we started as I was holding the map upside down! But the SAT-NAV takes away any need to think. - we just have to follow its instructions

As technology advances, more and more decisions are made for us. For example, as I write this on my computer I can do it at speed, as I use spell-check at the end to correct any errors - I don’t need to print anything until it’s perfect. A far cry from hand written letters where a correction makes a nasty blotch on the page which spoils its appearance completely. I must say that Charles still writes quite a lot of letters by hand and is pleasantly surprised when people say how nice it was of him to take such trouble.

And if we stop thinking, will we accept everything without question? Will we stop thinking that God has a plan for each of us and we need to find it? Will we stop seeking Him because “it’s all too much trouble?” I’m sure that God gave us brains so that we would think for ourselves. If we don’t use it, will the brain deteriorate? I’m not taking the risk! I am determined to exercise my mind each day - not just with puzzles but, more importantly, by reading His word and thinking more deeply about His message. After all, because the Holy Spirit lives in us, we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2: 16) - a major responsibility requiring clear thinking on our part.


© Sue Whitehead

 

 

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Sue Whitehead
Sue Whitehead