We've all experienced it, haven't we? When we learn a new word, and we 'suddenly' seem to hear it a lot, from various sources — the TV, radio, friends, social media, or wherever else you might hear things from. For example, recently, I've learnt the word 'phosphene', which is (and I quote from dictionary.com) "a luminous image produced by mechanical stimulation of the retina, as by pressure applied to the eyeball by the finger when the lid is closed". How cool is that... there's actually a word for those little sparkly colours you can see when your eyes are closed and you press on your eyeballs! First, I've read about it in an article that I had to double-check for one of my author's bibliography entries. I liked the word, because it reminded me of 'phosphor', which I knew had something to do with luminescence. Then, true to the nature of synchronism, I heard that very same word on the radio — with quite a lengthy explanation — while driving with my hubby in the car, and then again last night, when it featured on one of those medical series (fictional hospital stories) we all like so much. That was three! Within a single week.
Another example of synchronism is when you see something and then, 'suddenly', you see it everywhere, such as heart-shaped stones, dove's feathers, a specific car model or colour, pregnant women (especially when you've just heard you're having a baby, or really want a baby, but are struggling to fall pregnant), and the list goes on. It even could be that you haven't seen an old friend in years, and 'suddenly' you bump into each other at the mall, the movies, and even the petrol station... and you start to wonder, Does this mean something?
I just never knew there was a word for this 'phenomenon'... well, there is, and it is called 'synchronism'. Dictionary.com defines it as "the simultaneous occurrence of causally unrelated events and the belief that the simultaneity has meaning beyond mere coincidence". The question is, though, do these things really have meaning? What does it mean if you see the number 7 or 11 everywhere, for example? I am not sure if it really means anything, it might even be a bit on the superstitious side of faith, but what I do believe, is that, sometimes, the Holy Spirit nudges us to notice things, and we should keep our spiritual ears and eyes open for these little occurrences so as not to miss anything that He might want us to pay attention to. Think about that one Scripture you keep on hearing (in my case, Romans 8:28), or the fact that suddenly a certain 'theme' pops up everywhere in all the churches... I'm sure you know what I mean.
What if we became aware of synchronicity (as a way in which God wants to attract our attention) and actually responded to those small things that Holy Spirit wants us to notice, such as that old friend who might really need some help (which is why you keep on bumping into them), or that a heart-shaped stone that might just mean that He really wants you to know how much He loves you. Therefore, be mindful of each moment you are in. Be open to the nudging of the Spirit.
Talking about mindfulness... this is another theme that seems to pop up a lot the last while, isn't it? Our latest publication, Discover Your Amazing Brain, is really an awesome book that will show you just how being mindful of your own thoughts, i.e., thinking about what you're thinking about, can help you understand yourself better, and it can really help you to improve your life by improving your thinking. It's not a coincidence that I now suddenly hear the words 'catastrophising', 'metacognition', and 'shouldism' everywhere! This book teaches us about various destructive (or distorted) ways of thinking, and how to recognise we're doing it, and then, how to fix it! I really love this book. It is easy to read and understand. It is like neuroscience for dummies, like me. It explains how your brain's various parts work together with your mind–body processes and how you can control these processes to improve your quality of life. The Bible also teaches us to think what we're thinking about... so, maybe we should start!
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NKJV) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Proverbs 23:7a (NKJV) For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.