One of the sweetest gifts my dad ever gave to me came in one of the
saddest of many moments with him. He was enduring another medical
procedure in his three years of battling colon cancer and I was
overwhelmed with sadness and a sense of deep pain when I walked into the
room and saw him. "Daddy", I said, "how can you stand this?" In his
ever jovial, teaching frame of mind, he seized the moment to lift my
spirits and to comfort and console me. "I just put my mind in neutral.
They are not here to hurt me but to help me. All I have to do is not
think about it. I think about something else positive. I put my mind
in neutral. Before I know it, it's over and I am on my way." I cannot
tell you how many times in the twenty years since his passing that I
have, at the last moment, taken a deep breath, given into the situation
and put my mind in neutral. I can promise you that it works. It really
works but it does take practice. With time, it's a natural step to
This morning I was studying and was given a wonderful
suggestion that takes Dad's words of wisdom and comfort one step
further. Imagine it said, before you enter a room, a challenge, a
procedure, that Christ is with you as you go through it. Remove from
your mind all negative thoughts, for instance, "I hate the dentist!".
Instead, imagine a vision of Christ right there in the room with you.
Imagine Him watching over the doctor and assistants that have your
concerns and guiding their minds and actions. And then, take a long
cleansing breath and put your mind in neutral. Put your mind in Christ.
Put yourself in a place of trust. What an amazing gift of an image
that is for me!
Christ is such a giving, living gift in our
lives. He is not our "have mercy" go to source. He is our loving
Savior and friend who is right here. He is with us as we talk, think,
work and live each day. He is our source of peace in an argument. He
is our source of patience with co-workers. He is our friend in each day
that we live and breathe. We are here to feed off of God's word and to
do good works to complete God's plan. Yelling out, "Oh God!" is not
considered a request for God's presence. We will not find peace and
comfort in a last ditch effort to save the moment from turning into a
disaster. God asks us to invoke His presence as we enter a room or a
situation and to see Him with us as the moments unfold and to thank Him
with a grateful heart when the moments are over and we are at peace.
The high school student taking an exam after staying up on the phone or
Facebook the night before will experience little help when she sees the
exam and whispers to herself, "Oh God! Help me with this. I am going to
fail!" Her faith walk must include being responsible for her learning.
It must involve attending class, taking notes, studying the week
before the exam and reviewing the night before. Then when she enters
the classroom for her exam, she can invision Christ is with her as she
carefully reads and responds to each question.
We call 911 to
respond to our emergencies for heart attacks, fires, etc. but our
relationship with Christ was never intended to be an emergency pack we
secure in the back of our minds to rip open when we go falling out of
safety into danger. Christ is God's son who served God while He walked
on earth and when He had completed His mission, he was crucified. He
died and was buried and returned to His father in Heaven. Christ is our
conduit, our connection to our Creator. He is our companion in life.
We are warned not to lean on others or other things as our source of
strength but to look to Him as our guide, our Light.
Christians who believe God is our Creator and His holy son is our
Savior. We believe the Holy Spirit is our source of encouragement and
enlightenment. We are here to be lights for others so they can
experience the joy and peace and promise of eternity that we know. We
are fed by the words in the Holy Bible with God's intentions and His
will for us so that we can continue to do his works. But we are also
challenged to put up with traffic, go to the dentist, deal with
aggravations, pay bills and face barking, snarling dogs. I love the
image of a maze and use it again here. Imagine you are going through a
maze in the dark. That is life without Christ. With Christ we are
still going to go through the maze of life with all its challenges,
disappointments and heartbreak. We are going to grieve. We are going
to feel loss and disappointment. We are walking through this maze of
life. Around some corners we experience new grand babies, reunions and
weddings and lunch with an old friend. Around another corner we grieve
for someone we loved who has passed away or the loss of our home and all
of its contents. Where was God we cry out in our sense of frustration
and loss? The answer is always the same. God is right here. He's here
to pick up the pieces and can put your faith to good works through your
witness to others. What have you experienced that was so devastating
you felt alone? Look at that time and go back and see how imagining
Christ with you in each moment would have lead you to a sense of comfort
in the storm. Imagine how instead of feeling at a loss that your mind
instead would have been in a state of neutral allowing God to bring
peace, comfort and enlightenment on what you needed to do and how to
move from where you are to a place of hope, consolation and peace.
I am challenging myself beginning today to envision Christ with me as I
enter or leave a room. If you are ill today and I have several friends
who are. One has walking pneumonia. I am envisioning Christ over her
bed and bringing healing to her body and weary spirit. Wherever you go
today, I challenge you to envision Christ with you. Make your love for
your Savior a part of your day by giving your thoughts to the presence
of Christ. Embrace the love of your Savior. Rejoice in His presence.
You do not have to wait for Heaven to find peace and comfort and calm.
He is here. He lives inside your heart. Today, bring Him into your
mind in all you do and all you face. When you walk into a room, put
your mind in neutral and envision Christ.
He Lives, I Serve a Risen Savior Alfred Ackley
I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today; I know that He is living whatever men may say; I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, And just the time I need Him, He's always near.
Refrain: He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me Along life's narrow way. He lives, He lives, Salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me I see His loving care, And tho' my heart grows weary I never will despair; I know that He is leading thro' all the stormy blast, The day of His appearing will come at last.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King! The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find, None other is so loving, so good and kind.