Setting: Church, chapel, a devo, something along those lines.
Man: Let’s all take a moment to clear our minds before we pray.
Me, thinking: Okay. Clearing my mind. That means I need to stop thinking about this story and that I’m too warm and need to take this sweater off and wondering where my shoe went and think about Go-
Man: Our Father in heaven…
Me, thinking: NO! WAIT! I WASN’T READY!!!
I can’t tell you how many times this scene has played out in my life, but it’s a lot. For a long time, the fact that I cannot clear my mind in the allotted three-ish seconds made me feel vaguely guilty. Am I not spiritual enough? Do I care about all these other things going through my mind more than I care about God? Would thirty seconds have been better? How about three minutes?
Then, one day, when it happened yet again while I was sitting in church, I realized: Maybe men can actually do this.
There’s a video floating around the internet about the differences in the way men and women think (here is a link if you want to watch it). The speaker compares women’s minds to a ball of wire; everything is connected, and there’s always something going on. Even if a woman isn’t actively thinking about anything, there are convoluted trains of thought going on at the back of her mind.
Men’s minds, on the other hand, are more like a group of boxes. Every subject has a box. Men are capable of thinking about one subject and only one subject. And there’s a nothing box. So if you ask a man what he’s thinking about and he says, “Nothing,” it may be literally true.
I have not conduced a survey on the subject or anything, but I think I may have solved the mind clearing mystery. Maybe men don’t realize that women can’t clear their minds. Maybe women don’t realize that men can. Maybe it’s all just a biological misunderstanding.
This has made me feel much better.