Testimonies by Jennifer Phillips
"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2
It was the beginning of the year 2008 and as normal it felt like the holiday was too short. At least a month too short! It was time to go back to work and I didn't feel like going. I had been very enthusiastic about work until I had a car accident - my 5th car accident. I was tired most of the time but forced myself to keep going. I began to wonder if I should just give it up. Maybe I should be doing something different.
We started the school term with two professional development days and most of us mentioned our negativity about the holidays ending, including me. The motivational speaker alluded to our negativity too saying: "How many of us have said 'I need just another week!'" At the time I thought, "more like another month or more for me!"
When I got home I flopped down on the couch, tired out and turned the TV on. Well, miracles of miracles the Christian channel came on; the first time ever without me choosing it. An Australian preacher was preaching. The bible verse spoke to me and later I wished I could remember it. His words were God's words to me. He was speaking about our attitudes to work at the beginning of the new year and he said, "This is God's gift to you for now." I hadn't viewed my work as such for some years!
When I went back to school the next day I sat at my computer and felt weary, anxious and negative, so I reminded God that this was His gift to me. Then I thanked Him for the gift even thought my feelings didn't acknowledge this truth. Later a Christian colleague told me how sad she had been that so many had complained to her about starting back at work the previous two days. I said to her, "and so did I." Then I shared the word God had given me.
That day the negative thoughts kept coming so I got out my rather rusty "sword of the Spirit," which is the word of God (and God's word to me was "This is God's gift to me for now"). I confronted the feelings and thoughts with it. By the following day my feelings had come into line and some of the old enthusiasm was back. My energy levels had risen too.
We don't have to accept every thought that comes into our mind, or every feeling. We are in the process of being transformed and we have a part to play in it. There are practical things we can do to renew our mind. There are times when we need to 'go into battle.' Some people call this 'spiritual warfare.' Renewing our minds is one such task. We replace some of the worlds way of thinking, with God's way of thinkin, using what the bible calls 'armour' and the sword of the Spirit.
Thank you God for your gifts and especially for the work you have given me to do for now.