February 18, 2024
Reflections from the Heart of Allan Redenius
Within the fairy tale of Winnie the Pooh, who lives in the 100-acre woods, there lurks a character named Heffalump. Heffalump steals honey and has no regard for others’ feelings, a sort of villain in the imaginary woods in which Pooh lives. Of course, Pooh is somewhat frightened by this unseen, maybe even imagined character.
Most of the time, I like to think I live in the 100-acre woods, where all is calm, the sun always shines, never too hot, never too cold. A place where all is at peace. Not to mention, there’s plenty of honey in every tree trunk. A place, not unlike the green pastures and still waters, about which Psalm 23:2 paints.
But in reality, I don’t live in the picture perfect 100-acre woods. There is no so soft and cuddly Winnie the Pooh. Yet in real life, there are Heffalumps. People, things, maybe encounters from years gone by, which want to derail you from living a tranquil, peaceful life. Maybe even a memory from an unpleasant life encounter.
What happens with these Heffalumps that live in our brain, real or imagined? They become bigger and more frightening than they need to be. A Heffalump that harmed you years ago, should not control who you are today. But yet, somehow, they do. Though unseen today, you hear their footsteps pounding somewhere in the 100-acre woods in which you live. Fear grips your being.
So how do you deal with the Heffalumps in your life?
Here’s what works for me. In fourth grade, I went to a movie with the simple title, Dinosaurs. Every night thereafter I lived in fear of these Heffalumps who came in the dark of night, in my sleep. Eventually, they took on the persona of evil. I could hear the pounding of these Heffalumps coming close. When they awakened me, this was my prayer. “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 9) The Heffalumps then would run away.
I still live in the 100-acre woods. Whenever a Heffalump invades that sacred space, I simply turn to prayer.
Peace, be still!
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