This morning I’ve been thinking about the spiritual implications of the idea of “bio-feedback.”
I guess I should backtrack a little first, and get the technical terms into some kind of context. “Bio-feedback” means receiving real-time information about a biological function.
Watching your heart-rate on a monitor while walking a treadmill, for example, lets you see the immediate effect of increasing or decreasing your pace. With that information, you can raise or lower your heart-rate via pace, breathing patterns etc.
Stepping on a scale every day to check your weight is a kind of bio-feedback. When measurable information is clear, specific and frequent, people tend to do a more effective job of managing the variables that change the data.
REMINDER: I was reminded of this when I purchased a new pedometer last week. My old pedometer (step-counter) died around six months ago and I didn’t replace it because I thought I’d done a good enough job of establishing a healthy walking routine. However, while I didn’t stop walking Scout Labradoodle, the distances had tailed off significantly towards the end of 2012.
Then I remembered the principle of bio-feedback. And, while counting my steps isn’t exactly the same as monitoring a biological function, the idea of instant information works the same way. Simply knowing how far I’m walking has already doubled my distances.
FAITH: I write and talk a lot about daily Bible-reading, along with the beauty and power of morning prayer, but even beneficial habits are hard to maintain without the spiritual equivalent of bio-feedback.
That’s why I want to share with you the feedback agreement I have with my friend Gerard. Every morning, we both read the same devotional lesson (The Upper Room), and we read with the understanding that we will text a short response to one-another when we’re done.
If I forget, Gerard’s text reminds me. When God speaks to me, sharing the insight with my friend helps me to consolidate the “God-moment,” and apply it to my life. Even ahead of reading, the anticipation that – later – I’m going to share makes a difference in the way that I read, the way I meditate, and the way I pray.
SO COUNT ALREADY: Here’s my challenge. Apply these principles to one of more areas of your life where you’d like to see some growth. Health? Relationships? Faith? Work?
I can guarantee this: take the intention, plus the awareness, plus the deliberate monitoring, plus some kind of feedback, and the result is going to add up to indisputable positive change.
“I can guarantee this: take the intention, plus the awareness, plus the deliberate monitoring, plus some kind of feedback, and the result is going to add up to indisputable positive change.”