Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.” (Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895)
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to three neuroscientists whose work is answering the question why we know where we are and where we’re headed.
John O’Keefe (University College, London), May-Britt Moser (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and Edward Moser (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) have discovered cells that form a positioning system in the human brain, kind of a hard-wired GPS. These cells tell us our physical location, help us navigate our direction, and help us remember it so we can make the same trips again. These neuroscientists have figured out that two types of cells – called place cells and grid cells -- work in harmony to make the brain know where it is and where it’s going.
Memory and orientation are critically important for both our physical and spiritual well-being. If we couldn’t remember pleasant places we’ve been, how could we repeat the journey? If we can’t remember mistakes we’ve made, how can we learn from history? If we aren’t aware of our coordinates, how can we find our way home?
In one sense, “we make the road by walking” (Spanish poet Antonio Machado, 1875-1939). In a higher sense, we find the right road by praying.
With our brain, we find our bearings. With our heart, we find our beliefs.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5,6 NLT)
Johnny R. Almond
Christian preacher and writer
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity