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Spiritual matters

Spirit of God brings balance to life

January 12, 2011 - Heading into the New Year, there are many positive signs that we are starting to come out of the great recession of 2008.

We have faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression; however, all the positive signs are encouraging as we move forward. In Michigan, we have faced the brunt of this economic despair as our manufacturing base, always so important in Michigan, has suffered tremendously from the changing economic times.

The election of a new governor and legislature gives us a little more encouragement of possible change to better our situation. In times like this, it is interesting how predictable people can be in their response to the situation. As a pastor for 32 years, I have observed this in the problems that people face individually. Some people always seem to have a positive outlook, where others tend to see things from a more negative point of view. Some see the glass half full, while others see it half empty. How do you see life? The more important question then becomes, "Who do you look to in order to help you navigate your response to the situation?"

I have found that most people tend to gravitate to people like themselves.

We naturally feel most comfortable being around people like ourselves. Negative people tend to rally around negative information, while the positive people do likewise, looking for those who will reinforce their feelings. The problem with this scenario is that we easily become influenced; being carried with our situations, rather then making the sound decisions that will give us the ability to manage our situations and bring the most positive outcome.

As I read both political and economic writers these days, I see people who can only see one side of life, advocating for solutions without a real solution. In Bible times, they had watchmen upon the walls of the city to keep people aware of impending danger.

The prophet Isaiah said, "Watchmen, Watchmen what of the night? The day comes and also the night." The word of the Lord is that we should always keep a balanced view, observing both the positive and the negative. We should also keep an open mind, without being motivated by fear or other underlying natural instincts. Our underlying natural instincts will usually hinder us from making wise choices based upon all the information of the time. These responses will also have the tendency to cause us to make shortsighted decisions, rather than the long-term decisions that will enrich our lives.

This is what I like about being a Christian. When I became born-again, I became aware of a whole new side of life: my spiritual side. My spiritual side comes from God, so it certainly is outside of my normal response. Whenever I face a situation, my natural inclination is my immediate response.

However, when I allow my spiritual side to kick in, I become balanced; with this poise, I can make the best decisions for my life. Through the Spirit of God, I can find the peace necessary to respond with logic rather then emotion; with God's guidance and His Word, I can receive the council necessary to walk in wisdom. For many people, this may sound simplistic, but after 56 years of living I can say, "the proof is in the pudding." It has worked for me and I can see how it has worked for many others. Could you use some help navigating the difficult waters of this time? Get to church this Sunday Morning and allow yourself to hear an alternate voice!

The Rev. Loren Covarrubias is pastor of Mt. Zion Temple

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