Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Toxins

I do not know about you but I don't like cockroaches. We had them in our house and I did not know anything about hiring exterminators so I decided to get rid of them myself. I bought a sprayer and bought some chemicals to kill them. To measure the chemicals I took a measuring spoon and wired it to the outside of the sprayer. I did this to make sure that I didn't make a mistake and use the measuring spoon again in the house. How could I ever clean it well enough to use it again safely for cooking?

Imagine going in your china closet, getting one of your best crystal glasses, and then using it to measure chemicals to kill the bugs around your house. Then let's imagine that you take it in the house and wash it. Would you dare to use it again? Of course not! It would be contaminated with a toxic film invisible to your eye that might poison anyone who used this glass.

Now imagine that your soul and mine are like this glass. It has been so easy for me to fall victim to the attractive but false temptations of our contemporary world. For example, power, money, liquor, sex, and possessing more and more material possessions are alluring. These are played up so seductively on television and in the media. These can become our golden calves, our false idols! Who has time for God or Church? Perhaps unwittingly or even deliberately I have filled up my glass with these toxins that may kill my soul and potentially others whom I know and love. We call these toxins sin. This mix more importantly is toxic to God and poisons our relationship with Him. The worst of these is so strong that it totally poisons our relationship with God.

Imagine that we determine to do better and try to rid ourselves of these toxins. Can you or I wash the glass of our soul clean enough by ourselves? It would be like trying to wash the lethal chemicals out of our glass with household soap.

Let's assume, however, that we turn to Our Creator, and ask Him with a contrite heart to wash our glass. Is there a sin that He cannot forgive? His Mercy is boundless.

How can we avoid refilling the glass to the brim with another toxic brew? This also is very difficult to do by ourselves. No matter how I have tried to do this the devil always seems to find a way to slip a temptation in my life when I am weak. My glass, you see, is terribly weak and fragile.The toxins once again begin to fill my glass.

Imagine that God not only cleans our glass but also puts a protective substance in the glass that makes it difficult for the devil to introduce any more toxins. Is this possible? The answer is yes. We call this protection grace. The Prayers are the greatest source of this protection. The more grace that we have in our glass the stronger that this protection is. We have the blessing and privilege to be able to meet Our Creator, in Prayers. The grace that He brings surpasses all human understanding. May we get in the habit of praying to God....

Be Still.

When the electric power went out recently, I was impressed by how quiet it was. We live with continual background noise. Indoors we have the sounds of air conditioning, washers, dryers, TVs, computers, telephones, fax machines, answer machines, stereos, and kids. Outdoors are edgers, chainsaws, leafblowers, planes, trains, insects, birds, animals, cars and cell phones.

We have all kinds of noise inside our heads, too. Past tapes, what others have said and done, things we have done or told ourselves. And what about the noise our hearts make? They laugh, cry, remember, and talk to us too!

I don't think of myself as somebody who leads a fast-paced life. That is until I notice how long it takes me to relax and unwind. Getting quiet doesn't happen quickly for me. Sometimes I even have to consciously work at it.

It's a noisy world. And we all need a quiet place in the midst of all the noise. A safe place, where we can BE STILL, and hear the Lord. He very much wants to tell us how much He loves us, and how unique and special we are to Him, maybe give us our day's marching orders.

Today, He has a safe place, somewhere we can go and listen to the quiet. Maybe inside our mind and heart, or perhaps to a physical spot.Journey there and see what wonderful surprises he has planned for this brand new day of Today that we've never seen before.

“My Dying Conscience”: Lovely poem by Reshmi Trivedi

Lovely poem by Reshmi Trivedi —————————————— Sometimes in the dark of the night, I visit my conscience   To see if  it is still breathing, F...