Coffee Stains: Voyage to the Middle of the BrainAuthor: David Porter
Today young men and women, you’re going to make history. Climb into this super-micro inner space ship and we’re going to be the first people in history to voyage inside someone’s head.”
We all piled into the ultra-modern craft. Of course we had been shrunk so small that we were invisible but all six of us still felt a bit uneasy as we flew into the crowded room. ‘There in the corner, that lady with the short haircut, head for her ear!’ the Captain yelled to the pilot. We hung on for dear life as the little craft banked and flew in the huge opening. We marveled as we flew past globs of wax, hanging like stalactites from the top of her inner ear. Then we nosed into the brain itself. Surprising, we passed into the spongy mass without any problem. Our super-interpreter computer was able to show us what transpired in this lady’s grey matter.
Up ahead, there was a part that looked stormy. Once again we checked to see if our belts were firmly bucked because this promised to be a rough one. It kicked us sideways, and we tumbled over and over from the brainstorm, lightning sizzling the sides of our craft. All the while our computer analyzed the source of the problem. ‘She’s mad at another lady here!’ the computer announced simply. ‘Whew!’ I thought. ‘That’s got to result in one big headache.’ Finally we flew clear of the troubled area. It was time. I wasn’t sure our little ship could stand the pounding much longer.
Up ahead, we saw something eerie as we moved forward. It looked like a swamp with poisonous gas rising up! ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ sounded the warning. ‘It’s a bitterness swamp! Steer clear or those acid fumes will consume this ship!’ Our pilot had his hands full but he finally veered left and avoided the morass. Problem was, everywhere we looked in this brain, danger hid–threatening mountains that our translation computer told us were fortresses of unforgiveness, storms caused by fear and doubt, lightning bolts of greed; jungles of desire for something she didn’t have.
Finally, we could take it no longer. ‘Get us out of here Captain! We’re gonna die if we stay in this lady’s head.’ The pilot headed to where his navigation screen showed the other ear to be and after many harrowing adventures and near death experiences we flew out the other side of her head. ‘Let’s go home!’ we all screamed. But the Captain paid no attention as he scrutinized the other guests in the room where we flew once more. ‘There, that one!’ he directed suddenly.
The pilot took us into the ear of a young man about 30-years of age. We all braced for the storms ahead as we passed the inevitable globs of earwax, heading for the depths of his brain. Up ahead we saw what seemed to be a forest, highlighted by sunshine. Our computer told us what it was, as we flew over. ‘He’s thinking about how much he appreciates the person that invited him here and how many good things have happened to him recently.’ Our eyes feasted on the beauty of the woods as we glided slowly over the treetops. Up ahead, though, things were changing and we got ready for the worst. Didn’t need to though. A deep blue lake welcomed us. ‘These are his hopes for tomorrow,’ the computer intoned. He believes that God is going to keep him and help his life mean something during his time on the earth.’
It’s hard to tell you what a joy that trip was. We saw beautiful colors, heard music that soothed our souls, saw sights that challenged us to accomplish more, heard drumbeats which seemed to be the rhythm of his heart responding to others’ needs. Finally, with much regret, we flew out the other ear. No, one spoke for awhile as we headed out of the crowded room to return to our base. Finally, one young learner said to the Captain, ‘Those two there, their minds are so different. She must have a much harder life than that other fellow.’ ‘Not really,’ the Captain answered. ‘Those two are married–to each other.’ ‘What! Then why the difference in their mind if their experiences are basically the same?’ ‘She is full of herself and she doesn’t filter her thoughts,’ the Captain said sadly. ‘He takes God’s Word seriously and thinks about it. He purposely slams the door on the nastiness and fear that she welcomes. The difference is what they decide to think about all day and their obedience to the Word of God.’ Quietness reigned the rest of the way back. Lots to think about … lots to think about.
‘Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious, the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (The Message, Phil. 4:8,9)