Amusement Park: Haunted House, Third Room – Things
Suddenly a jarring startled Amalia into full wakefulness as the car crashed through a door and entered another bright room. Whereas the other room had been large and filled with people, this room was smaller and filled with all her favorite things. Amalia stared around her with awe.
The walls were covered with a great variety of colorful fabrics. From soft greens and blues to vibrant purples and reds, in all sorts of patterns and textures, the fabrics seem to call out to her. Amalia reached out as if to touch the soft, fuzzy fleece closest to her, while eyeing the shiny silk of another piece.
She wanted to stop, to enjoy these fabrics, but then she noticed the rocks scattered around. Rocks of every size, shape, and color. Shiny rocks with golden specks. Flat rocks just begging to be painted with fun pictures and inspiring words. On small tables here and there were sets of paint pens in fun colors. Some of the tables also held containers of paint and a wide assortment of brushes. Amalia’s excitement grew. She wanted to get out of the car and run to the nearest table. She wanted to create masterpieces, and to share them with other people.
But before she could move, she noticed a patch of freshly dug earth and crates of new plants, a few spades, a shovel, and garden gloves. Forget the gloves – she wanted to plunge her hands deep into that soft dirt, and to enjoy the rich, earthy aroma as she planted the young plants. She imagined the contentment she always felt gazing at the beauty of a newly laid garden. Surely they could stop here long enough to plant some flowers.
But again, before she could jump out of the car, she saw computers and keyboards and notebooks and pens. And, oh, lots of colored pencils, all freshly sharpened! Her fingers itched to touch them, to transfer her thoughts and dreams to paper. She wanted to use them to help people who were struggling, to encourage them to keep moving just as she kept moving.
She lifted her foot over the edge of the car, ready to jump out. She was so busy looking and anticipating all the things that she wanted to do, that she didn’t notice that her sense of peace had disappeared, along with all the soft words that had filled her heart. In its place grew a sense of busyness as she planned out what she would do once out of the car. The busyness grew until she was so preoccupied with it that she thought of nothing else. It wasn’t long before she was thinking in terms of everything being ‘hers’: her tools, her inspiration, her work, her plans, her life.
The voice managed to break through her thoughts, and she hesitated. Jesus? Jesus was here, somewhere. He said He would be. And all of the things in this room were good things. She was even going to help people with them. Surely He would approve of her stopping here for a while. She again moved to jump out of the car.
Her brain struggled between the enticing things that pulled at her and the quiet voice of Her Friend. She knew she would have to choose one over the other. There was no way she could focus on both. Yet the call of all those fascinating things seemed to overshadow the quiet voice she had grown to know so well.
She closed her eyes, willing herself to shift her focus. Slowly she let go of her thoughts – thoughts full of all her plans and desires – and focused on the voice still calling her name.
“Amalia… Amy, my Beloved… this room is filled with the many things you love and that keep you busy. They are all good things. But you can easily get so absorbed in them that you forget I am here.”
Amalia nodded. “Yes, I can see how that happened. My focus shifted from the comfortable companionship we had had in the darkness to the world of pleasure around me. I kind of did forget You. I knew You were still around, but You were no longer the focus of my life.”
She opened her eyes and turned to look at Jesus. “Is it wrong, then, to do these things?”
“No, definitely not. They are all important, if done at the right times and for the right reasons. I actually want you to do them. I plant that desire in you, and gift you with the abilities to do them. Just don’t run off when you see something catches your attention. Bring Me with you. I will keep you balanced so that they don’t consume you. And I can bless your work to become more powerful and to achieve greater results than you could do on your own.”
Amalia nodded again. “Forgive me for trying to run off. Help me to stay focused on you no matter how crazy or interesting life gets around me.”
“That’s one reason I asked you to hold My hand. It keeps us connected.”
“Oh, that’s right. As long as I’m holding Your hand, I can enjoy what’s around me. I might not always be able to hear You over the pull of these things, but I can always feel Your hand.”
Jesus nodded at her. “I can always hear you, though. Even when you only think it.
He continued to talk to her about the different things He wanted her to enjoy as they crossed the room. The comfortable companionship they had shared earlier returned as she dreamed of the possibilities He was suggesting, all the time keeping full awareness of His hand in the forefront of her thoughts.