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Monday, April 9, 2012

From Cheryle Touchton's Book - The Secret to Everything

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.
—1 Corinthians 2:9

AS I SAT in the Intensive Care waiting room, I didn’t think I could stand it. Our family was still recovering from the brutal murder of my husband’s great-aunt Jamie, and now my beloved
grandfather was in the ICU with a severely damaged heart. As I stared at my grandmother, who was sitting across from me, I wondered if she understood how seriously ill her husband was.

My grandparents had the kind of marriage everyone wanted. They still held hands when they walked. They cuddled when theysat. For sixty years they’d been together almost continually, and
before this heart attack, I’d seen little sign of aging. Throughout their lives, they ran businesses together, raised four daughters, and directed music for churches. I was terrified that they were
about to be separated.

The ICU only allowed visitors every two hours. The time in between stretched like an eternity, leaving too much time to think. I examined my own life. I was twenty-seven, and so far, I felt like I had wasted it. I was a Christian, but for some reason, it wasn’t enough to satisfy the emptiness in my soul. Things were tense with my own husband. Until just a year before, I’d been bedridden with obesity-related health problems, and everyone had taken care of me. On January 19, 1979, I cried out to God and asked for the sin of gluttony to be removed. I felt God gently promising that if I ate healthy foods in moderate quantities and avoided all foods that had become false gods, He would remove my desire to kill myself with food. I’d spent the last year working on my physical health and was already reaping the rewards.

When it was finally time to visit, I tiptoed into the sterile hospital room. I took a deep breath and felt dizzy from the strong smell of medicine and sickness. I looked at the wires attached to my grandfather and found the hum of the monitors comforting.

He looked at me and smiled warmly, “Gal, you’ve got your school girl figure back.” Those were to be the last words he ever spoke to me.

I did indeed look and feel better physically but wondered why I was still so miserable. What was missing? I worried about everything. My husband was often away from home on business, and I resented him because of it. I wanted to do more than I was doing, but fear kept me from trying new things. I called myself a “stay at home mom,” but I was really a couch potato, spending my days watching soap operas. I believed the promise that I could do all things through Christ who strengthened me, but for some reason, I just couldn’t seem to apply that to my life.

That is the beginning of my story and what motivated me to seek a change. I’ll bet you have a story of your own. What if there were an ancient, secret formula—one that was centuries old? Assume for a moment that this formula contained the secret to finding everything we seek for a fulfilled life. While each generation had passed this formula to the next, not all generations had recognized its value or applied its worth. Suppose it was your turn to have this mysterious formula and your research indicated those generations that embraced this secret formula soared as if on “eagle’s wings” and the generations who ignored it crashed and burned into the ground. What would you do?

You might write a book called The Secret to Everything. The secret formula I’m talking about is called the Sh’ma (pronounced Shuh mah), which is a Hebrew word that means “to hear.” The Sh’ma is actually the first two words of a section of the Torah and considered by many to be the most important prayer of the Jewish faith. We see it multiple places throughout the Old and New Testaments, and Jesus told us it was the most important commandment. What part of most do we not understand? The Sh’ma, or the Greatest Commandment as the New Testament calls it, is the ancient secret to everything.

It is:
  • The secret formula for balance, success, and wellbeing.
  • The secret weapon against every evil, disappointment,and frustration.
  • The secret sauce that spices up our lives.
The Greatest Commandment:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27)

The secret is to love God with all you think, feel, and do. The rest of this book is going to show you how to do that. You can’t imagine what God has planned for you once you decide to do nothing but love Him more. The answer to everything in life is to stop working on every problem, issue, challenge, annoyance, disappointment, hurdle, or frustration and start using all your energy to love God more. If you love God with your entire mind, heart, soul, and strength, you will automatically love your neighbors as yourself. When you fully love God and your neighbors, your desires and dreams will have metamorphosed into full alignment with God’s will for your life. You will have that perfect, promised peace that is beyond any earthly explanation. You will have discovered the secret to everything.

This is the chapter, Promise, from Cheryle Touchton's latest book, The Secret to Everything. pp xv-xviii. To order the entire book, click the link: The Secret to Everything

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