My dad, age 87, thought it would be a good idea to paint my bedroom last week. He was just about done when he decided to remove some painter's tape above the doorway by standing on a swivel chair that was handy rather than fetching the ladder from across the room. It was a mistake.
He turned like a top and landed headfirst on the metal bed frame, striking just above the eye. The blood came instantly and profusely. With the presence of mind to want to avoid staining my carpeting or bedspread, he ran to the bathroom and cleaned himself up. I was not in the house at the time. Only the cat heard, and bolted downstairs.
My father could have fallen onto the soft mattress, or the relatively "giving" piles of the carpet, but he hit cold, hard steel. The Lord did not cushion his fall at all, though (as in the case of my mother a few days earlier) the impact missed his eye, and there was no trip to the emergency room.
I am telling you this mainly to relate my father's comment. He said to me afterward that it occurred to him that in the old days his first reaction would have been, "Why didn't God protect me?" but that his first reaction this time was, "Thank you, Jesus, for protecting me." I would say that's about 180 degrees of difference. That is a case of being transformed by the renewal of the mind.
What occurred to me was this: In this simple reaction of this elderly man to an ordinary affliction is contained the essence of Christianity. Look no further for the substance of true spirituality. To respond to all life's circumstances with a simple belief in the providence and love of God is what the Christian life is all about. It is what many books are written for and many pricey conferences have as their final aim.