Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Battle for the Mind - thinking as a warrior should think

I was re-reading "I'll fight" by Phil Wall and came across the following. I hope it challenges and inspires and calls you to greater things today.

"As the waves crashed around the ship the evil slave trader, this dealer in human flesh, considered his life and all he had done. As the seas rolled with ever-increasing turbulence, so di his mind. A mental storm was beginning to brew. His human cargo, incarcerated below would, as in most trips, arrive with not all still alive. Between the lashing of the waves cries could be heard from the desperate company beneath decks. Through disease, suffocations, and at times starvation, numbers would die and provide the sharks with a mighty feast. None cared too much if some who went over were not actually dead; it only hastened the inevitable.

Brutality was part of the control: beatings, floggings, rapes. They were all too common a pat of the socially condoned evil of slavery. Families were devastated, whole communities ripped apart, husband from wife, child from parents. This ebony sea of humanity was violated with inhumane intensity. Flesh and bone were pawned as commodities, exchanged with little or no thought of the injury being suffered in body, mind and spirit. Thought of as somewhat inferior to other men and women, human rights were denied to those who were viewed as less than human. Freedom was stolen in the name of commerce.

Scores had died as a result of man's 'financial investments'. Untold misery had been meted out upon the African peoples and during it all no question of guilt nor disquiet had ever flashed across his mind. Yet this day was different. This day, in the midst of the life-threatening storm, he suddenly became aware of his own mortality and the fragility of life, causing fear to grip his heart. The arrogance and harshness of his bigotry began to be challenged. What had been the invincible bastion of an emotional vacuum began to crumble. Thoughts of God and sin, not entertained since he was a child, began to travel across his mind. Guilt, considered by him a rare and unnecessary sensation, began to consume him. His heart began to stir as the pages of his life began turning before his eyes.

None will ever know the full story of what took place during that treacherous night. A revolution of mind and heart had begun that would have life-transforming consequences. More than canvas and wood were thrown into turmoil that night. A battle had begun for how this man viewed God, himself and the sanctity of life itself. Decisions needed to be made, attitudes had to changed, a mind had to be renewed. it was this man who, as a result of the considerations begun that night, eventually bowed his knee before Jesus and became a champion of the powerless slaves. One day, when thinking back to this mental and spiritual journey, he penned the words that have brought challenge and hope to millions

"amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
was blind but now I see"

John Newton had won the battle for his mind."

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