I am pretty sure that in my 55 years on this earth, I have accumulated millions of memories. Now, just because they are there tucked neatly inside mini folders in my mind does not mean that I can access them all. Geez, there are times I cannot even find my keys! Can I get a witness?
Once I attended a seminar that was held by a man who was an expert in teaching self-talk, which is what you say when you talk to yourself. Oh, yes. We all talk to ourselves. Some might talk out loud and others might just use their inside voices, but we all have a dialogue going on.
The speaker told us that the conversations we have with ourselves and actually with others are a result of the things we have experienced and heard throughout our lifetime. It is like we were born with a blank CD and every life event is recorded on that CD. Yes, our brains are amazing little computers capturing every sound, sight, touch, taste and smell.
The things I learned from him that day have served me well. The fact that our thoughts create pathways in our brains is fascinating, but it is even more incredible that we can create new pathways by thinking and dwelling on better thoughts.
Perhaps, that is why we are instructed in Philippians 4:8 to “Fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely and admirable and to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” These are things that create some healthy pathways for our mind to tread.
Actually, in starting this piece, those first four paragraphs were not even on my mind. After having lunch with my dad and him recounting a memory from years ago, I wondered what triggered that memory. It is kind of like wondering how you got from here to there.
Anyway, his story took me back to the 70’s to a trip to my Aunt Minnie and Uncle Bennie’s house in Fort Worth, Texas. Yes, that is their real names. Pretty cute, huh? With cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. there were over twenty of us and we decided to go to Six Flags Amusement Park.
As you can imagine, the cost to get in was considerable so we were looking for ways to save money on those tickets. To this day, I am one who looks for “clearance, discounts, and deals.” Well, Six Flags had a promotion that would get us half-price tickets if we had so many Captain Crunch cereal box tops.
Off we went to the grocery store to gather up our cereal in our quest to save money. We literally had over twenty boxes of cereal in our carts, but it was for a very good cause. So, our visit to Six Flags was enjoyable and affordable and we had cereal for months.
Our goal was to save money on those tickets, but we also ended up with a supply of crunchy, sugary cereal that would last well beyond that day.
Is that not like our salvation (except for the crunchy and sugary part)?
When we made the decision to become a Christian perhaps initially the greatest benefit was that we would spend eternity in heaven. But, there is more….there is so much more!
This is where I break into my infomercial voice to talk about all that we received when we got saved. You see, along with eternal life, we have the fruit of the Spirit. That is right! According to Galatians 5:22,23, we have LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL. It is true that the fruit came in seed form, but as we grow in Christ, that fruit grows in us.
AND THERE IS MORE!
We each have at least one of the motivational gifts that is listed in Romans 12:6-8 and I want to encourage you to read that list and check out your gifting. I am convinced that we are the happiest when we are working and operating within our God-given gifts.
AND, let us not forget the comfort, encouragement, forgiveness of sin and THAT peace that passes understanding. YES, all of these things along with the OPPORTUNITY for an intimate relationship with the Lord became ours when we said “yes” and accepted the FREE gift of salvation!
So, today when I was reminded of all of that cereal then it reminded me of the self-talk man which then took me to the pathways which took me down the infomercial road all to remind me of the many benefits I have as a child of God.
Whew! That was quite the trip down memory lane! For some reason, I am craving a bowl of Captain Crunch!