A co-worker & friend of mine, Roosevelt, have been talking at length at God, His Word, the Bible, & in general, our Christian (and not so Christian) lives. He was telling me of a pastor who comes on the radio station that he listens to. His name is Charles Stanley and his ministry is called intouch.org.
I went there last night after cleaning. My husband & kids were asleep. I had stayed up to clean up the house a little. I was so tired & achy that it took a good bit of mental pep talking to myself to get motivated to get get moving. After putting up what was left of dinner, scrubbing the dishes, preparing the coffee pot for the next morning, sweeping, mopping, making tea, & cleaning the main bathroom, I decided to look up Mr. (I found out later that he’s a Dr. actually) Stanley.
I started browsing the website & found some podcasts to listen to. I listened to one about “Meditating With God”. He talked (and echoed a lot of what Roosevelt and I had discussed earlier that day) about all of the distractions that we let fill our lives. Yes… I said LET! Because we can turn off the TV or the radio or the computer or the cell phone, and “turn on God” by talking to Him. Worshiping Him. Studying Him through His Word. Serve Him by being more Christ-like. But we don’t. We turn on the TV & “veg out”. We turn on the computers to read about never-ending, whining & drama. We pick up our phones & text or call about the latest gossip & secrets.
Where’s God? Where have we put Him?
Am I just as guilty as the next person? YES! More so than others! I can promise that.
Am I proud of that? NO! I feel ashamed of myself. My family raised me better. I have learned better, but I “slipped” back into a ritual that I don’t need to be in.
Do my children mirror my actions? YES! They come home tired & ready to turn on the TV or ask to play a computer game. They don’t read a Bible. They don’t hear enough about God! We rarely go to church & always promise to make time to go… but we never seem to get there.
Is this my fault, my husbands fault, society, social media, our neighbor George’s fault down the street? For this question, I personally am taking responsibility. I should be doing more to turn the outside world “off” & turn God “on”. I should be the one who makes them pray before they eat their dinner. They mirror me. If I don’t teach them… who will? Society & outside influences will! And I want them to learn from me & to mirror me, but I have to GROW before I can teach my children to grow.
Roosevelt brought up a very good visual. Imagine 2 trees if you will (I’m adding a bit to this). Ok, 1st tree is tall & straight. Your standard tree you could say. The 2nd tree, it starts out growing straight up like the other one, but something happened. Something made it bend & start growing horizontally, rather than vertically. Over time, & a good bit of growing out horizontally, the tree finally started to grow vertically again until it reach it’s full height. Growing our children are kind of the same way. If they grow up, growing like we (the parents) did, they’ll grow straight up. Not only through discipline & manners, but in God’s teachings as well. They “grew up right”. If we don’t help our kids. Guide them. Teach them. “Help” them to “grow straight”, then they’ll be like the 2nd tree, & grow up in the only path that they know. The path that they learned themselves. (This is the best picture I found to help show what I’m talking about.)
All of these things, along with a number of other meaningless things, that were aboard the Train of Thought jumped it’s track, ran wild through my mind while I listened to the podcast. The message was simple… meditate on God. Talk with God. Find that time, all the time, to be with God. Don’t make time for God, let God give you time for your other things.
So, I thought to myself, “ok self. Relax. Meditate.” So I tried. I laid back in the recliner (still listening to the podcast). After a while, I felt myself relaxing. Not like a falling asleep feel, but a calming feel. Then I felt something that almost had me come flying up outta that chair, but I forced myself to lay still. It literally felt like I had hundred’s on pounds of weight on my shoulders, & then suddenly, it was all lifted from my back. Kinda like carrying a heavy toddler on your shoulders for several hours, but finally making them get off, because it hurt you so bad. It’s kinda like that. I think it was more the suddenness that startled me though.
So now I’m left with an aching all throughout my body. I kept praying. The podcast is still playing, but the only sound that reaches my ears was like a light wind of silence (which is saying something considering I had that sucker turned up pretty loud). I slowly felt that aching LITERALLY draining from my body. Like someone pulled the plug from a tub. It rested uncomfortably in my hips for a moment, I shifted a little, but then it continued to drain. I felt a warm sensation of peace wash over my mind.
Then I heard, “time for bed. No more cleaning. No more internet.” I opened my eyes expecting to see my husband chiding me for falling asleep in my chair. But he wasn’t there. What felt like a couple hours was only 11 minutes. I got up from my chair, turned off the podcast, checked the doors, turned off the lights, peeked in to check on the girls, & then walked into our room where my husband was sleeping in our bed.
I was wide awake. I thought, “there’s no way I can go to sleep now.” But almost as instantly as I thought that, my body went lax on me & I drifted to sleep fairly quick. I won’t say that I had the best night sleep, but it certainly was close to it. I woke feeling better. I still don’t have that heavy feeling on my shoulders like I normally do. I’m truly convinced that while God & I didn’t “talk”, we still hit a communicative point to where He helped me & I felt Him & that’s an AWESOME feeling. =)