If I were in His place
It was late one afternoon during the first week of the New Year. I had come downtown to exchange a Christmas gift and was returning to my car. The hard misting rain was turning to sleet, and it was growing colder as darkness fell.

I stopped at the corner and waited for the traffic light to change. As I lowered my face to protect it from the sharp east wind, I overheard two people in front of me talking. A voice said very distinctly, “Well, I know one thing; if I were in his place . . . .”

At that moment the light changed, and the roar of moving traffic drowned out the conversation. But as I returned to my car and drove home, I kept wondering—in whose place, and if he were, just what was it he would do?

Of course, I know it is impossible for one person to enter the life of another and think and act for him, but on the threshold of a new year, it posed a very fascinating question. Just suppose another person could come into your life and assume control. What kind of changes do you think he would make?

If you know of changes that might be made, why don’t you make them? You see, you know more about your life and the changes that are needed than anyone else could ever know.

It is no easy thing to do. For one thing, it is hard for us to see our own faults. And even when we recognize them, the battle is far from won. How many times—especially on New Year’s—have we made heroic resolutions, only to see them broken. Heroic efforts ending in despair!

Someone else coming in may be the answer. It sounds strange at first, but this is really what the Christian faith is all about. It is Christ coming into a life and bringing hope, where there was no hope. It is Christ doing for us what we could never do for ourselves.

This was the secret that the Apostle Paul discovered and that caused him to exclaim triumphantly: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

Listen as Christ speaks to you and me, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man will hear my voice and open the door, I will come in.”

Rev. Nichols is pastor emeritus of First Christian Church of Temple. He writes religious columns for several Central Texas newspapers and is compiling a book of his writings.

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2010-10-28 digital edition

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