In the deepest part of me

A video circulated on the Internet last week that was tragically moving. It showed an elderly woman, Marta C. González, once a prima ballerina, who has Alzheimer’s. She sits in a wheel chair, slumped over, until she hears the music of Swan Lake. Beautifully her hands, arms, neck, and head begin to move as she recreates the dance from memory long past. The scene is captivating – amazing, sad, and beautiful all in the same moment. (See it here.) 

A friend and I were talking about it and her observation paralleled mine – what am I storing up in my memory that is dug in so deeply that it would resurface even if my conscious mind no longer functioned? Who am I in the deepest part of me?

Jesus taught us that our inner reality inevitably becomes the outer one! “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by the kind of fruit it produces. Figs never grow on thornbushes or grapes on bramble bushes. A good person produces good deeds from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil deeds from an evil heart. Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” (Luke 6:43-45, NLT)

If we want to experience a life transforming spirituality we will cooperate with God’s Spirit to change us from the very core of our being.  What are your core convictions, the unshakeable things that form your behavior? 

Let me illustrate my point with the idea of gravity. We know that the law of gravity is real, it works, and that if we break it, we will suffer, don’t we? A rational person does not stand at the edge of a cliff and think, “Perhaps today I can fly!”  She knows that if she jumps the result will be severe injury or death! That’s a core conviction. We understand that a wire charged with electricity can light up a room or give us a terrible shock. It only takes one encounter with electric shock to create a core conviction – don’t touch bare electrical wires!  

When we believe what the Bible says about God’s love and forgiveness, about judgment and salvation, about Christ and the Cross, about the life of the Spirit – and those beliefs work their way to the core of our being – our lives will inevitably change.  How do we change our convictions, forming a beautiful inner person that will overflow with life and grace in life?

We need to immerse our mind in the Scripture! 

The Bible shows us who God is, how the world works, and what is true. In the holy Word we learn that in spite of what our culture drives into our brain about self-expression, He is God and we are not. Our world centers on Him and our life is made richer in the discovery of His will. Constant exposure to the stories, doctrines, and promises of the Word changes our core convictions.

We must adopt an attitude of humility.

A person who insists on doing things that he knows to be a violation of the will of the Lord gradually slips deeper into deception. If a person continues to rationalize and justify actions he once understood to be wrong, he will cloud his mind. Lies will soon seem to be true. The distortion will become a toxic mix that causes destruction.

Paul reminds us of the renewal the Spirit offers. Once we “were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  He saved us!”  (Titus 3:3) In humility we accept the gift of life we can never earn for ourselves.

We seek daily interaction with the Holy Spirit! 

Life can fill up with ‘stuff,’ keeping us busy with making a living, chasing fun, feeding our face so that we might forget that we a spiritual person, an eternal being made in the image of God. Making time for contemplative prayer, for worship (and not just ‘in church), and to look beyond our next meal creates opportunities for God to speak, to remind us that we are His children, to change who we are from the inside out.

So, let me return to the ballerina. If the time should come when your conscious mind is failing, what will remain, embedded at the core?  The answer is not necessarily what you thought you learned in Sunday School!  It is revealed in the unguarded moments, when you are under pressure, or when hardship comes.  

Peter speaks of the amazing grace of Jesus that gives us salvation, reminds us that trials come to refine us, and then assures us that our “faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:7-9, NIV)

Let’s pursue a depth of faith, a core conviction of Truth.

Here is a word from the Word. May it speak to us this Monday morning. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:9-11, NIV)


Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change
At all

All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground
At all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found
In You

You make me new You are making me new
You make me new You are making me new

Lisa Gungor | Michael Gungor

© 2009 songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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