Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Otto James Frederick Meyer lived a life nearly absent sickness. His second youngest son, Delmer, recalls my grandfather’s first illness as the stroke he suffered at the age of seventy-one (71). Through Otto’s sixty-fifth birthday, Delmer says, “I nearly had to run to keep up with his walk”.
Otto’s smile was nearly permanent! However, when his two or three year old grandson, yours truly, locked him in the barn’s feed room with no alternate exit, Otto’s smile vanished. His cheerful voice quickly dissipated as I was unable to unhook that which I had hooked on the barn door. Otto, along with his wife Ida, raised six children on this farm, I was the first to lock him in the barn. His beaming smile returned as my father opened the door to the outdoors, releasing him from the barn’s bondage.
Otto frequently whistled while he worked. He whistled or sang on the tractor, tapping his toe on the accelerator to the beat of his favorite church hymns. Delmer says the tractor engine’s fluctuating response to Otto’s toe tapping could be heard a half mile away as he drove along the North Fork of the Solomon River.
How true it is when we feel good, we feel good. I frequently invite audiences on cerebral explorations; including the inquisition, “Is it possible to smile and attain negative emotions?” Smiling and anger are polar opposite. Smiling opens our neuron receptors to the chemicals of joy, blocking the anger chemicals. This produces a chain reaction throughout our body, relaxed muscles are normally healthy muscles.
Our crushed spirit generates negative chain chemical reactions resulting in ill effects on our bodies. Seldom do pessimists escape illness.
These explanations are simplified for this writing.
What causes cheerful hearts? Cheerful hearts result from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Focusing on the desires of Christ creates immense cheer. The cheerful feeling describes the prevailing feeling, life’s challenges remain with us. You may have a child or grandchild lock a door behind you, leaving you in an inescapable room. Christ sweat blood as He pondered his inescapable crucifixion. However, Christ kept his eyes on the Father's Will and love for us! Prudence suggest we do likewise.
For over four years Otto James Frederick Meyer suffered paralysis resulting from his stroke. Pictures reveal his smiling, cheerful heart remained. The last few weeks of 1975, his smile lessened. As I viewed Otto James Frederick Meyer in the casket following his death at approximately 2:03 am on January 3, 1976, his smile beamed ear to ear. His beaming smile returned as our Heavenly Father opened the door to heaven, releasing him from life’s bondage. A cheerful heart is good medicine!
See Christ, Believe Christ, Achieve with Christ!
Rick E. Meyer