“Old Friends”

Sep 04, 2023

As I have followed Jesus to the best of my ability, and with amazing help from the Lord, I had hoped that all the old tendencies in me to worry or judge or fear in any way would go away as God healed me of the issues that stood between me and Him. But, all those thoughts have stayed with me, [Darn it all!] so I had to learn how to deal with them in a different way. I no longer wanted to get upset or irritated by them, especially when I was trying to sit in the stillness of Centering Prayer before God. I first sought out the source of each of the bothersome thoughts. For instance, I can know that I have plenty of time to be on time, even early, as I head for an appointment or lunch date or meeting. Yet I can still feel the inner pressure to be On Time! I realized that this was ingrained in me by my parents who were always on time or even a few minutes early.


Or, if I began to worry about spending too much money, I would remember that my Aunt Grace could not even stay on a long-distance call that someone else was paying for, because she had lived through the Depression. There is a source within us for each and every urge like these two. They have been with us since our childhood; that’s why I call them “old friends.” Now instead of giving in to the anxiety they once produced in me, I smile at them or I wave at them in my mind as they arise yet again, and again. And I relax. They are not relevant to my life in Christ, but they are still with me. It has been so freeing to just smile and go on with my life.


Especially when I am driving anywhere, I am smiling a lot. The cause might be the pressure to be on time or my jealousy or judgment of another driver, particularly anyone who is slowing me down. Or I might resent the red light that is definitely not my choice. Maybe I’m just more aware of these little events that evoke my anger while I’m driving; I’m not sure why.


When I am meditating, sitting in God’s presence, when these “old friends” arise in my mind, I smile at them and let them go. I do Centering Prayer every morning six days a week, and those smiles keep me in touch with the Lord’s presence and I no longer have to work at settling back into the still state of mind. I am able to be present to God, to be aware of His presence with me. And, when I am not meditating, but doing my work or meeting with friends or driving, I am aware of the nudges, the suggestions, the word coming from God within me. I am also able to be present to the people I am with, much more so than I have ever been. Dealing with these “old friends” has so helped my ability to be present. No longer am I thinking about what’s next on my agenda while I am “listening” to someone else. No longer am I distracted by or judging of what the other is saying. I am able to be with the person, with the Lord, no matter what. And that is a huge gift to me—to be fully present in the present moment!




Questions to ponder over the week: Can I step back from the influence all these “old friends” have had on me? Can I become an observer of these thoughts and directives from my mind? Do I ever think about the source of my “old friends”? And how long they have been in my mind? Can I smile at them and not engage with them, thus undermining the influence they have had on me?


Blessing for the week: May we be the children of God who have become observers of the influences of the world, our parents, and our self-image, free to deepen our knowledge of who we were each created to be. May we become free of these influences outside of ourselves and of God’s way of fulfilling our lives here on earth.




Check out my two websites: patsaidadams.com and deepeningyourfaith.com.


Two Announcements

  1. I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at patsadams@gmail.com and I will email it to you, free of charge.
  2. My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *