by Dr. Charles L. Houston, Jr.
“You need a heart cath, Mr. Houston.” Talk about a jolt. Those were the words of my cardiologist as he compared EKG stress tests a year apart. For the next 72 hours, you could say I “unplugged.” I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t feel like going anywhere, or texting or Facebooking. So, while I was waiting to be cleared by the heart cath as heart healthy, I worked on a sermon and I meditated on the scripture, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) To which I added, “and I am not God.”
The scripture in Psalms had filled my mind as it was part of a devotion. I read centered on the one word, prayer, “COME”, into the messiness of our lives. My life felt pretty messy during those 72 hours waiting for the cath.
As I took time to meditate, a beautiful memory surfaced of my immigrant grandmother who was a refugee from a German colony in Russia. She had come to America as a refugee, fleeing violence with nothing but the clothes on her back, and her brothers to settle in the Oklahoma Territory. My grandmother taught me a prayer she had obviously learned as a child, “Komm, Herr Jesu; sei du unser Gast; und segne, was du uns bescheret hast.” It translates “Come Lord Jesus, be our Guest; and bless what you have bestowed.”
Since the heart cath, I have done my best to continue my “unplugged” times periodically each day. To sit in silence and repeat my childhood prayer and focus on living in the present moment, to recognize the presence of the Lord in my life and the life of my family. For in reality, the Lord is always with us. To quote the Psalms again, “Whither can I go from the spirit?” (Psalm 139:7) The rest of the Psalm affirming the part that we can’t go or be where the presence of God’s spirit is not!
So, in conclusion, if your life seems a little messy or a lot messy and out of control, remember you can always stop and say, “Come” to remind yourself that God is already there.
Dr. Charles L. Houston, Jr. is the Senior Chaplain with the Georgia Department of Public Safety (Georgia State Patrol/Motor Carrier Compliance Division). www.chaplaincharles.org