Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Ghost in Our Church Basement


You will keep in perfect peace

    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 NLT

Rumor has it there's a ghost in our church basement. Her name is Mrs. Bottoms, and the story goes that she haunts the sacred halls under the sanctuary (in the area where the Senior Adults now hold Sunday school classes) because the church didn't use the money she left to it for the purpose she designated. 

Corny, right? I agree. But there are a few dozen children who, despite how ridiculous the story is and how many times they've been told differently, scare themselves and each other out of their wits when they are given the opportunity to run around down there to play hide-and-seek. 

It starts upstairs. The kids will get excited about getting to play downstairs while most of the adults are in a meeting (they're always supervised by someone in our children's ministry), and someone will bring up Mrs. Bottoms. The ones who haven't heard the story before listen intently, others share spooky experiences they've had, and even the children who know the truth, who have been told by parents and church leaders alike that there's nothing down there, who know the story is silly, will find themselves caught up in the tale. Nervous giggles abound, and then, thoughts full of ghosts, they go to the basement to play hide-and-seek. Some children make spooky noises, trying to frighten the others. And it works. Why?

They can't stop thinking about the ghost.

Because their thoughts are full of the wrong things, they are tricked into believing things that aren't true when they're down in that basement. It's so silly, and I find myself getting exasperated sometimes when my daughter comes to me, finding it difficult to sleep because she keeps thinking of Mrs. Bottoms, and we go through the whole story again. She laughs and admits she knows it's not true, but she's still scared because she's still thinking about ghosts. Only when she chooses to focus on the truth can she calm down enough to sleep.

Then I realize that I do the same thing. When I get anxious and fearful about the future, about finances, about my child failing to make progress in a certain area, about job situations, about stories in the news, that's the adult equivalent of thinking about ghosts. When I'm consumed with fear and anxiety, it's because my thinking isn't fixed on God and the truth in His Word. I can only have peace when I'm focused on Him, trusting Him to be with me each step of the way.

PRAY:  Father, please help us to stay focused on You. Despite how hard things are and how hard they may get, please help us to know that our help, our safety, our provision, our joy, our peace, and every good thing in our lives comes always and only from You. Amen.

4 comments:

  1. That's a good lesson to learn! Being sure to focus on the right stuff keeps one from fear and anxiety. You've no clue how timely this was. Thanks for sharing and now, I've learned a little bit from Mrs. Bottoms myself. ;)

    ~Honey

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    1. I'm so glad, Honey! I wrote this last week, but when today rolled around and I read it again, I realized I needed the reminder myself!

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  2. Holy cow...I needed this today as I am fretting over Evie's first Epi-required bee sting which gave us our first and hopefully last ride in an ambulance in Nevada. :) Thank you...keep my eyes fixed on him.

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    1. I hope you and your daughter are doing better now! Honestly, I needed this again today myself!

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