“GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS”
I can still clearly remember the very day/hour that my life changed from being destined for hell, to being eternally secure in the fact of knowing my new destiny for heaven. That day and hour was: Saturday, August 28th, 1987, approximately 11:00 p.m. Perhaps for some or most Christians, they cannot recall a specific day/hour. But for me, there was NO doubt as to when I became a part of the “family of God”—saved by His mercy and
grace at the age of 36 years old! (I John 5:11-13)
Before telling you of that pivotal point in my life, let me first explain a bit about myself. I was born the 3rd of 7 children (2 older brothers, 2 younger sisters, and then 2 youngest brothers) in a small town in southeast Texas to what I thought was a “middle class” working family. It was only later in life that I realized we were really considered “lower class” since we lived in 100+ year old very modest wood frame house—next to the county courthouse square!
In any case, we never went hungry—even if it was as simple as Karo syrup with crackers and water for supper. Nonetheless, I was born into a religious family that believed in being active within the community, school and attended Sunday school and church every Sunday morning. We were later told how the pastor and others always looked forward to seeing our family come —that way we’d boost the attendance, taking up a whole pew at church!
Daddy was a ”young entrepreneur” (only 20 years old) who borrowed money from a long time family friend to become sole proprietor of a small sheet metal, and later air conditioning business. Dad was, still is a prideful man who worked long and hard hours (not unusual to get up and be working at 3:00 a.m.) to provide for us the best way he knew how. After all, Dad wanted each of us to get that college education that he never got—where he said many times he wanted to become “a Philadelphia lawyer”! Mom meanwhile had a “full-time” job simply raising 7 kids.
So it was, I grew up in this humble setting where I worked in the family business from junior high through high school, and then through college until I received my bachelors degree in 1975. (My inspiration for getting a degree was so I wouldn’t have to keep working as an air conditioning laborer in those very hot attics with itching fiberglass insulation!) Upon graduating with no money in the bank, but at least no educational loans to pay off either, I had proposed to my dear wife. We were married 3 months later—living and enjoying the “big city life” of Houston.
JAMES POLASEK TESTIMONY
So it was, my brothers and sisters also got married either before or afterwards—each of us trying to make our fortune in life. Not meaning to be competitive, yet it appeared we were all working towards that bigger, new house, car/truck, while trying to be active in our community and churches—“going through the motions of life”!
I had played piano and/or organ in Sunday school and church from the early age of about 12 years old all through out my life, and when/if I didn’t play—I sang in the choir. My wife and I also became involved as Sunday school teachers, serving on various church committees, administrative boards, etc. After all, I was simply “going through the motions” of being a good Christian (or so I thought!).
All was well until that fateful day I’ll never forget, where my faith in God was tested to the nth degree. That was that Friday mid-morning, August 28th, 1987 when my wife received that dreaded phone call from a family member, and then called me at work to tell me that I needed to come home quickly. And so I did, not having any idea why or what happened, but knowing it must be very serious.
Upon getting home, my wife was in tears as she told me of the sad tragedy of our then 11 year old nephew, Michael (my sister’s oldest child), who had just been struck by a van crossing the highway in front of their house. Later we were told that Michael had persisted in his pleading with his mother (my sister), to let him go get the mail for her from their mailbox. After all, he had done so many times before.
Even though my sister indicated to Michael that she appreciated his willingness to do so, but that she would go get it after she finished her work in the kitchen, as she was also caring for his younger brother and sister. Nonetheless, with Michael’s persistence, she allowed him to go for the mail. Moments later, she heard the screeching van tires, blowing horn and the horrific “thump” of Michael’s body being hit and thrown some
distance—in front of my brother’s house. Michael had died instantly upon impact. It was at this point that my brother-in-law (his father) who was at the office at work said later he knew in his spirit from God what had happened—even before ever receiving the dreaded phone call.
It was this point in my life that changed FOREVER! Because as tragic as it was for us to lose this young boy at only 11 years old, we KNEW that he was in heaven with God. As for me—with my very heart torn out, aching for my sister, brother-in-law and all of the family, I realized that “IF that were me and my dead body on that highway, I DIDN’T KNOW if I would be in heaven!!
*Having given you this background of my life circumstances, to continue reading about the details of my conversion from a life destined for Hell, to a life destined and eternally secure for Heaven (as written/recorded by me after my conversion—July 17, 1988), read:
“The Polasek Family Conversion”–,
Chapter 1: My Salvation Experience, and
Chapter 2: My Growth with Christ in Understanding His Will, –Not Ours
Sunday Morning July 17, 1988
5:30 a.m. By: James Polasek
THE POLASEK FAMILY CONVERSION
Chapter 1: My Salvation Experience
My new life in Christ as a “born again” Christian –
My first experience where I asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my heart was 2 days after my nephew’s tragic and sudden death (death to the non-believer, but life for Michael—even at age 11 already being a “born again” Christian) on August 28th, a Saturday evening at about 11:00 p.m.
I was home wrestling with myself, trying to go to sleep when I couldn’t. I became caught up emotionally in all of the week-end’s events-trying to grasp the reality of Michael suddenly being gone from our family with no warning of sickness or lingering injuries (but “in the twinkling of an eye”), the morbid ordeal of having to make the funeral service arrangements, and other
funeral preparations at hand, and most of all experiencing the helplessness of trying to comfort
my sister Martha and Guy for all the hurting and grief they were feeling, having to give up their first-born child (the oldest grandchild on my side of the family) at only age 11 when he was just beginning to blossom in life.
Then I think, how would I feel—could I handle such a tragedy as this, being so real yet unbelievable, if it had happened to Steven, my son, my first-born, my pride and the love and joy of my life? And to that I have to answer, I don’t think I could, or at very least I too would have great difficulty in accepting it. It would certainly change my outlook on life as I had previously
known it and would change my priorities of what was and is important in this life on earth.
So it was out of these thoughts and realization that I came to realize this tragedy was changing all of my family and we would never be the same again. We would not, we could not take God’s gift of life to us for granted anymore. Even though we were feeling all of the emotional anger towards God, a God of mercy and love, for having allowed this to happen to this family, and it
did happen—we later came to realize that perhaps there was a reason God allowed Satan to do this.
It was time this family truly believed, trusted, and fervently and reverently worshiped God Almighty, King Eternal and Maker of Heaven and Earth and not just “go through the motions” of being a good Christian. Only giving lip service to him, saying yes I believe, going to Church every Sunday with our hearts out-of-tune with God, my playing the piano and organ at Church, being Sunday School teachers and leaders, or elders of the Church.
But yes praise and thank God — all things work together for the Glory of God who know and love him. By this tragedy we knew we could not take tomorrow for granted, for our time could be at age 11, 36 (as I was), 62, or 92, but the whole point being we don’t know and only God Almighty does. So if we truly desired to be the “family of God” and desired to be reunited one day in his presence, it was time to be serious about getting right with God. That can only be by not only believing in God, but confessing all are sinners and come short of the Glory of God, and thus we must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Savior. Salvation, God’s gift of life is possible only through his mercy and grace for his children. (“No man cometh to the Father but
Now, –this is where I found myself that Saturday evening, so I dropped to my knees with my hands clasped and prayed, begging, pleading with Christ, Lord Jesus to come into my heart like I never have before. Asking him to forgive me of my sins, to wash me and take control of all that I am or could be for I knew not what tomorrow held.
To my utter amazement and joy, praise God he did come into my heart, my body and soul like I had never experienced it before. My body was converted to his body, his temple in a way that was so real to me I had a hard time believing it. My body literally shook and I received this warm, tingling sensation from my head to my toes, and not once, but three separate, consecutive
times. At that point I didn’t know or couldn’t be sure why it happened three times, but to me it symbolized the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) coming into my being.
Then there was a peace and a joy within me never before experienced because I knew that if God were to call me that night, that I would be in his holy presence and so I no longer had to wonder about whether I was saved or not. Before this experience I thought I was saved, or at least I was hoping I was, but I didn’t know and now I know I wasn’t (saved). For my good works of going to Church all my life, joining membership, or playing the organ at Church would not and could not save me.
Praise God for saving me and he can save you too if you just let him. If you’re not sure if you’ve received God’s gift of salvation, –then you haven’t. And I plead with you to do as I have and ask Christ to come into your heart now, for there may not be a tomorrow for you. For it is truly my sincere desire that my children (Steven and Sarah) [*Note: Susanna was not born until 4/19/89-after this writing] come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior at an early age, -and that they don’t have to wait until they’re 36 years old as I was. Praise God Almighty for his grace and mercy to us. Amen and Amen!
Sunday Morning July 17, 1988
MY GROWTH WITH CHRIST IN
UNDERSTANDING HIS WILL, –NOT OURS
After having accepted Christ as my Savior, I thought all was well and good in that I just continued doing the good things in my life and deleting the bad (sins) or at least tapering off their frequency. In all truthfulness I still had the old temptations in my life and had a hard time giving them up. So when they happened, I still continued to ask for this forgiveness.
However as the months began to pass, I found myself beginning to slip more and more into my old ways. And then pretty soon I discovered I had placed God in a place of high esteem and honor in my life, but I was relying on my own power and strength to get me through life’s trials and tribulations.
Faith without works is not the faith of coming to Christ as he would have us to do. “For if ye shall not profess my name before man, I shall not profess thee before my Father.” Faith without actions is dead! Faith is trusting God and seeking his will for our lives, and seeking his strength in our times of tribulation.
We cannot do anything on our own physical and mental strength, –at work, church, or our home. It isn’t until we realize this and we seek and accept his strength that we are able to make our lives fruitful unto the Lord. We can then and must seek his will through fervent communion with him through constant, and never-ceasing prayer. Pray at the office, the factory, working in your yard at home or wherever and whatever you do.
I came to this stark realization when I buried myself in productive activities at work, and in my music ministry commitment at Church when all the while I had ignored my need for God’s help. As a result, my family life began to deteriorate. The good husband image of being a good
financial provider was not enough. I was finding my patience and understanding growing thin very quickly by our standards and was becoming abrupt with discipline to my children. Also my patience was growing thin with my wife’s inability to get relief and get good medical help from the doctors for her progressively worsening arthritic and bursitis condition. (Imagine this I
thought, –in a world when we can send men to other planets, build computers smarter and faster than the human brain could ever be, –and yet our doctors are helpless to find a cure for something such as this. Then again we still haven’t cured the common cold nor are we able to predict the weather with any sort of reliability.)
Thus I found myself in what seemed to be the very bottom of my being, –totally helpless to comfort or relieve any of the pain and suffering my wife was experiencing presently with sharp, recurring pains of stabbing and numbness in her right shoulder and arm. She had basically and realistically become incapacitated and could not carry on a normal work routine or family life
with us. All of our activities began to center around her and her condition as to whether we did anything that day (or week-end) or not.
Thus I finally realized Geri’s condition was really beginning to take a toll on our lives when we and especially I was getting anxious about going to Corpus Christi (TX) for a July 4th long weekend get-away. I felt that we needed to go for rest and relaxation to Padre Island for the kids. But the truth of the matter was I wanted and needed to see Randy, our adopted “Aggie” again because he had touched Geri’s, Steven’s, Sarah’s and especially my life this past year at A & M
[*Note: Local university—Texas A & M University].
With this in mind, Geri’s right shoulder pains had been bothering her consistently since May and getting progressively worse, even though she had been going to Dr. Hall with it for sometime. (He had diagnosed it as an advanced progression of her arthritic and bursitis condition. He gave her some pain pills and basically told her it would take time to “run its course”, maybe 6 months, before any relief would be felt.)
I was not satisfied with that diagnosis and strongly urged her to see a specialist at Scott and White Clinic in College Station. Finally she consented and contacted a friend and church member we both knew in choir. He suggested the orthopedic specialist Dr. Hines.
After taking almost 2 more weeks to get an appointment with him, we finally got in.
(This was as far as I ever wrote. It’s as if all communication, time or desire to complete this
story ended in mid-stream.)
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS IN MY CONVERSION
July 13, 1988 Wednesday—
The Awakening of My Inner Spirit: Geri’s expression to me of giving up any and all hope for healing and life in general.
July 14, 1988 Thursday—
The Pouring Out of My Soul: Then Thursday night’s beginning of our first real “act of faith” by open prayer and holding of hands by the four of us (Joseph, Mary, Geri and me) for Geri’s physical healing.
July 15, 1988 Friday—
The First Healing Sign and My Covenant with God: At 10:00 a.m., Geri calls me at work and tells me she no longer has burning or stabbing pains in her right shoulder.
July 16, 1988 Saturday—
The Healing Process: Saturday night Geri experiences intense burning over her whole body for over two (2) hours, –or what seemed to be an eternity. (She didn’t reveal this to anyone until she told me of it the following Monday, 7/18/88.)
jpolasek AT@ msn.com