Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith - Walk On

ronniemcbrayer300 bKENTUCKY (3/17/13) - In ancient Jerusalem there was a pool of water called Bethesda. The location served as an impromptu hospital ward, a collection point for the sick, blind, and paralyzed. These infirmed went to Bethesda to receive a hoped for healing – not from a physician – but from the therapeutic waters themselves.

Back then it was a common belief that an angel came from heaven at certain times and “stirred up the water” of Bethesda’s pool, resulting in miraculous healing for anyone who could get in the water. They didn’t take this stirring as natural warm springs, percolating mineral water, or air escaping the limestone aquifer. They believed it was a divine intervention.

In the New Testament gospels, Jesus makes a visit to Bethesda and finds a lame man lying alongside Bethesda’s waters. Jesus doesn’t drag him over to the pool and dunk him. He simply heals him. Then, he gives the now-made-well man excruciatingly practical instructions: “Pick up your mat and walk.” This wasn’t to get the man’s bed out of the way. Jesus was saying, “Get it out of here so that you won’t come back to it!”

This former invalid, the best we can tell from the gospels, had been coming to Bethesda for the better part of four decades. That is a long time to waste lying alongside a bubbling brook. And now that he was empowered to live a better, healthier life, it would be easy for him to fall back into old habits. Jesus wanted this stretcher removed so that the man would not have the temptation to return to it.

This olden story of faith predates today’s advances in neuroscience by centuries, but Jesus already knew what researches have confirmed in recent decades: When habits are formed, the brain actually changes. Routines – good or bad – cause neurons in the brain to alter their patterns. So in the process of breaking a habit, the brain must also be “rewired” to not only change a person’s behavior, but to change the firing of synopses inside his head.

Recent studies also show, that if a person returns to their former habits, the brain returns to its former patterns as well. But every addict and Al-Anon participant already knows this. We will return to the things that hurt us, again and again, and again and again. Body and spirit will slide right back to where we once were.

If we want sustained change for our lives, if we want to be whole, redeemed, complete, reinvigorated people, then yes, we must admit our powerlessness to be well on our own, and at the end of ourselves collapse into grace. But as important as this first step is, here is another: If we are going to live out this transformation, there must be a grace-infused commitment, not to return to those ways, habits, persons, lifestyles, and behaviors that will only take us back to the unhealthy way of life we knew before.

The door to the past has to be slammed shut. Obstacles have to be put in the way to keep us from returning to old ways of thinking and old ways of acting. Spiritual reprogramming and rewiring has to take place. That is why Jesus told this man to get his mat and get out, because that was the only way he could remove himself from this dead-end, superstitious pool-sitting that would only enslave him, not heal him.

If we are going to remain well, we can’t go back. Life, redemption, wholeness, and healing: These are waiting for us only as we move forward. After the hard work of being brought back to life has been done, let us not lose our future by returning to the past.

So while we all will have to carry the burden of our yesterdays, our wasted days, and our years of regret – the mats and stretchers we used to rely upon – God’s grace and healing will lighten that burden. And that same grace will help us to walk on, never returning to who and what we once were.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks

In Other News...

WKU Students, Recent Grads, Honored by NSF Fellowship

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (4/19/14) — A current Western Kentucky University student and four recent graduates were honored by… Read More

Fifth Third on Main Street Comes Down

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (4/19/14) — The walls are tumbling down at the Fifth Third Bank location on Main Street and West… Read More
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Posted on 1/31/2014
2/6/2014 - posted
2/18 - 553 clicks

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 19918

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 17, 2014 4520

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 16, 2014 3547

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 17, 2014 3405

Meet The Hopkins County Magistrate…

in News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 16, 2014 2107

Rand Paul - 'We Need a New President'

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 17, 2014 4520

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 18, 2014 1254

Talking Teen Trashed Telephone Pole,…

in Top Stories by MPD
April 18, 2014 1000

Earlington Traffic Stop Results in Meth…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 19, 2014 992

Fifth Third on Main Street Comes Down

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 17, 2014 798

Center Street-Island Ford Connector in…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 16, 2014 1380

New Home Health Care Opens in Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 18, 2014 1365

Daviess County School Board Hears…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 18, 2014 1340

One Arrested, Another Injured in Single…

in News by J.D. Marksberry
April 16, 2014 1155

DCPS to Celebrate National Volunteer Week

in News by Lora Wimsatt
April 17, 2014 347

Owensboro Public Works Declares 'War on…

in Top Stories by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 3547

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 17, 2014 1779

Bremen Man Charged for Possession of…

in Top Stories by Muhlenberg Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 16, 2014 1752

South Carrollton Woman Injured in Head-on…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 17, 2014 1602

Watson Family Tragedy Inspires Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 1567

Three Injured in Kentucky 70 Collision

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03