Yet there comes a time in each of our lives when we reach a plateau of sorts that represents a plane of existence, comprising our ideals, core values, fervent beliefs and yes, religious and political advocacy. You may reach the plateau at any age, however, typically, and more often than not, it will be some time after you’re out of the K-12 school system.
“Truly, it is completely normal and entirely expected that we will (and should) be challenged about our beliefs, for it is in these “Moments of Truth” when we learn more about who are; as sons and daughters, as husbands and wives, as mothers and fathers… most importantly, as spiritual beings. For if our beliefs are never or seldom challenged, we lose focus, motivation, self-awareness and yes, direction in our lives.”
And without question, my childhood was no exception. Born and raised a Catholic, I regularly attended church, was educated for five years in a Parochial elementary school, served as an Altar Boy, learned the Mass in Latin, and of course, was instructed in the constructs, requirements, expectations and directives of living as a Catholic.
I began to seriously question, for lack of a better word, the validity of Catholicism as contrasted to other “alternatives” within the Grand scheme of the world, even universe. Keeping in mind this is MY personal journey; upon inquiry, discussion, research and comparison, the Catholic Religion emphasized an inordinately large amount on finances/”dues”, spent an equally small amount of time on the Bible, and ubiquitously created the mental hierarchy of Church, Priest, Catholicism and lastly, Jesus Christ (in that order). Needless to say, this troubled me in a deep and huge way.
And then, I began to read the Bible on my own. I began to personally experience Jesus Christ in the most wholesome, reverent and meaningful way, like I had never envisioned before. It was as if I had just discovered that Santa Claus (Catholic Church) was not the real deal. It caused me to feel betrayed, angered, frightened and anxious about my future. In short, it challenged my core values to the point of nearly destroying my sense of self, value and being.
I have always been, and am, however, a Survivor. Throughout my life, I’ve trusted my instincts and my gut, to analyze, make decisions and move forward in my mortal journey. Truthfully, my transformation from Catholicism to Christianity occurred well into my 30’s, as it simply took my faith that long to mature. And I remain confident in my path, who I am, who is Jesus Christ, what our relationship has become, and what my expectations are of myself to effectively and successfully live life as a Christian and Child of God.
Am I perfect? HARDLY. I struggle, like everyone else, with the sins of humanity. Yet, that realization does not hinder nor prevent me from striving with every breath I take, to live my life in His image. Do I have guilt as a father for not having done a better “job” raising my children as Christians? EVERY DAY. Yet, that reality, when examined, yields the conclusion and belief that every human being has a Free Will and uses it to form their own thoughts, make their own decisions, create their own behaviors, future and certainly, their personal accountability for their life.
As a father, I provided the toolbox and attempted to teach my children (and myself) how to use the tools of life; compassion, integrity, accountability, motivation, enthusiasm, reverence, humility and forgiveness. Now, it is their choice which tools to use and how to use them; or whether to use them.
Does the Catholic Church serve a purpose? Absolutely, as a resource about Jesus Christ, history, self-discipline and community. My most trusted reference, however, is the Bible, for it represents the unequivocal “Word of God” and when viewed holistically, is the ultimate Book of Life.
I am a Christian and I live to become exclusively like Jesus Christ. There is no other. I humbly ask that you pray for me as a Christian to continue down the righteous path. God Bless You all in finding yourself; in finding Peace, Love, Joy; in finding your Savior and Salvation. There is definitely something in the water. Be well.
Although each of us is born of DNA, snippets of our parent’s tendencies and that red liquid coursing through our veins, we also create our environment with our thoughts, ideas and reactions that collectively comprise our experiences, personality and the essence of our individuality and being. Hidden in the depths of our sub-conscious, lie our fears, joys, loves and regrets, along with the complete set of our core values and beliefs.
Many of these “tucked away” emotions and navigational guideposts steer us on a day to day basis, yet we remain somewhat unaware of their subconscious influence upon our lives. And so it is with food, dress, relationships; and faith. And although the strongest of these morally magnetic influences is faith, as humans, we overwhelmingly have the most difficult time expressing, even sharing our museum of faith that is ordered and stored in our minds much like books in a library.
Yes, the magic of life itself remains hidden within our minds, along with everything that defines who we are, what we believe and why we behave, think and make decisions the way we do. Many times it is safety and security that convinces us to refrain from sharing our selves with others, while at other times it can be ego, pride and self-expression that pushes us to let others know equally defining aspects of ourselves.
“As music is encrypted upon a CD or stored on the hard drive within our computer, it is conspicuously silent and unknown unless played and shared with others. In essence, it does not exist unless it is shared. And in a parallel fashion, our faith, beliefs and Christianity remain largely unknown and non-existent, unless we make a concerted and deliberate effort to communicate and share them with others; through our words, through our Actions, and as witnessed by our lives”.
It is human nature to judge others by their looks, words, body language and behaviors, along with how they interact and relate to others. This tendency to judge is a largely, mutually occurring phenomenon, i.e., it is happening all the time and all around, and to us. It is as breathing; an involuntary response to ensure our survival.
And so it seems, in this day and age of global strife, we are being coerced into “survival mode” by external forces. Accordingly, we are being awakened to a degree by that little voice inside us that is screaming to protect ourselves, to protect others and to raise the veil of our faith, exposing it for the world to see, by our actions.
And make no mistake, “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity” (Albert Einstein). Indeed, it is incumbent upon each of us to not only acknowledge our values, beliefs and faith, but moreover, to have the courage and character to defend them when under scrutiny or worse, attack. Take the risk, remain focused and Play the Tune, people, albeit at times a bittersweet symphony, lest we wither away into non-existence.
Over the past several years, there has been an increasingly vocal “voice” across the web and in the media regarding the importance of the United States Constitution, specifically, the Second Amendment. For those unfamiliar with the Constitution, the Second Amendment represents the Right of American citizens to “Keep and Bear Arms” and likewise, protect your physical body from injury and/or violence.
“In much the same fashion, and in light of similar attacks upon Christianity, I offer that there is also a Second Amendment of the Soul, which acknowledges that every human being has the Right to ‘Keep and Bear Faith’ in an unencumbered fashion, and to protect their Spiritual Body against a Tyrannical Government, Society and Evil forces.”
Throughout time, Christianity has been persecuted by others, out of hate, jealousy, contempt or fear. People are largely uncomfortable addressing subjects and issues they can not touch, directly see or explain. Faith is a very personal subject and indeed, many do not even possess a complete awareness of their own beliefs about it.
Yet, as difficult as it is to contemplate faith, eternal life, and an omnipotent God, it is likewise critically important for all of us to come to grips with it at a personal level. Self-awareness refines and strengthens our core values and beliefs and subsequently, reflects in our thoughts, actions and behaviors with and toward others.
Some of us prefer to deal with faith in a “concealed carry” fashion, holding it ever so closely within our hearts and resisting, even avoiding discussion or dialogue about it with others. And for many others, we willfully choose to “open carry” our faith for all to see.
Regardless, however, of the method we manage our faith, one thing is certain; each of us has the God-given right to believe and practice whatever faith we choose/commit our lives to witness, so long as doing that does not harm others or adversely impact the world around us.
Protection of our faith, at all costs, is an unalienable right, and must be treated as such. Faith defines much more than the book we read, the worship location we attend and the behaviors we choose to exhibit. Faith encompasses our very reason for existence, our foundational values as human beings and our being into the future; as in eternal life.
Personally, both the (physical) constitutional Second Amendment and the (spiritual) Second Amendment of the Soul represent my most empirical philosophy of life and accordingly, receive my utmost attention regarding my life and how I choose to live it in this world.
As Alexander Hamilton so succinctly stated, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything”. I prefer to stand and determine my own future in this world, guided by God, while preparing for the next life, following my faith as a Christian.
Bottom line, Government and Faith are Inextricably Intertwined… And logic dictates that the basis of Law must be Morality… and the basis of Morality is Faith in God’s Law.
Indeed, it would be a cruel joke if God created us in His image, and then somehow, failed to provide us with the things we truly need to live a prosperous life as a Christian. And the truth of the matter is that each of us has what we need (note: not want) to experience an exceedingly rich and joyful life, if we choose to follow Christ‘s teaching; to avoid sin and love others without reservation.
“Perhaps by design to illustrate and test the construct of faith, God included many resources for us to enjoy. Yet, as our free will would have it, we at times, enjoy too much, obsess too much and exclude what matters too much; to the point we lose focus on what is good, what has been provided and what enriches our soul.”
There are numerous tasks each of us must not only perform, but rather, master, if we are to realize our potential as beautiful and uniquely special children of God. Among the critical few are to identify and develop self-awareness, core values, faith, discipline, compassion, respect and humility.
Collectively, these tasks prepare us to love one another, which is the ultimate end-game of our existence. And make no mistake, we have everything we need in this life to reach that goal, to fulfill our destiny.
It is our use of choice that solely determines the path we pursue, and the extent we realize our future. And a wise choice is to use prayer to seek God’s wisdom, grace and guidance to reveal answers that will lead us into eternity.
The enlightened choice is the one we make when it aligns with God’s will, plan and future. And we possess all the worldly resources necessary to meet His expectations. If only we choose to use what we need and avoid what we don’t. Choose wisely.
Never in the recent history of the world, have we witnessed the unprecedented destruction of society, culture and security, as we do now. Religious and Ethnic persecution, Politically-motivated violence, social media attacks, Suppression of Freedom of Speech, Corruption in our Government. Seemingly unrelated issues, however, share a common thread of substance; the Core Family Unit.
At the dawn of civilization, the family unit was the basis for survival of self as well as the species. It was characterized by rules, heterosexual reproduction and safety (food, shelter and clothing). Enamored with nurturing, albeit crude, the family also served to educate the young, much like animals educate their offspring.
Progressing throughout recorded history, the family unit, let’s just call it the family, has evolved in function, form and features; yet, regardless of the changes, always served as the bedrock of social and cultural life and was revered, sought and protected because people understood the critical nature of the family to survival, legacy and individual reputation.
Toward the Industrial Age, families became larger, primarily due to the functional need to support the family farm in agricultural pursuits. Once again, survival was paramount and acknowledged by all. Love, not a subject of casual conversation in the public at the time, remained at the core of the family as it was considered to be the “X” Factor of sorts and the “right thing to do” with respect to how adults were expected to behave and interact with each other. What a concept, yes?
Let’s fast-forward to today. The traditional “family” is disrespected, ridiculed, demonized and undermined at every crossroad including television, media, government and education. Make no mistake, the destruction of the family as the core instrument of society and culture, has consequences; significant consequences.
“At the heart of the dismantling of the family, are sexual deviance/perversion, violence, and Godlessness. Together, these behaviors have become hallmark mindsets of our generation that collectively serve to undermine the family as the core and biblical unit of our species as human beings. They serve to impact our future in the most adverse scenario. Continuing to follow this path, we will ultimately lose our identity as children of God and only recognize ourselves as physical and mortal organisms.”
To combat this trend and destructive energy, we must change the way we think about the family. We must restore its reverence and meaning and we must painstakingly strive to protect and secure its future. And the way we will accomplish this goal is to change our personal thinking and bring back God into our lives. God and faith in Him are the antidote and foundation to the elimination of immorality and the downfall of society. Sin is our enemy, not God! God is the cure.
Any person with a logical mind that has studied the Scientific Method, knows about simple Cause and Effect and Root Cause Analysis, as the basis of effective problem solving. What we face now in America can be objectively and logically identified and understood, if we are willing to acknowledge and accept the responsibility to understand that each of us are a part of the problem. Most importantly, that each of us are equally the key to addressing and resolving the problem. It is not the job of other people to fix it, but rather, it is everyone’s job; it is Your job and it is My job. WE MUST OWN THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND MINDSET.
And the way we approach this problem aligns with the way we approach our lives. Invite God into your life. Submit to His Presence as the Divine Father. Learn how to live in His Light, Obey His Instructions for mankind and promote that mindset to others. Let your actions serve as testimony to the Truth. Let the Light of God shine in your life and permeate the world.
Economic bondage, Spiritual Decay, Health Issues and Decaying/Toxic Relationships, along with all of the afflictions of this world that have plagued our species, originate and are manifested, as sin in direct relation to our ability (or inability) to think, act, behave and consciously choose God’s way of life. We must deliberately decide to follow God and rebuke sin. It is clearly an All or Nothing scenario.
The tools to accomplish this transformation include prayer, role model emulation, love and compassion for others. The visible by-products of these efforts will be enhanced self-esteem, dignity, integrity, respect and inner peace. I call these things our Spiritual DNA. Over time, the adoption of this new mindset will cleanse our minds, spirits and souls and will demonstrate to the world around us that we choose God as our savior and redeemer.
Only then will things begin to get better.
Only then will the quality of our lives improve.
Only then will eternal life and salvation be once again within our reach.
Only then will we be saved.
There is a term in business that serves as a “how to” approach to problem solving and it focuses on the difference between a desired state and current state. In other words, this is the vision of where we want to be versus where we are. It is appropriately called a “Gap Analysis” and it defines and measures the gap between present reality and a desired future reality.
One might wonder, “What does a Gap Analysis have to do with being a Christian?” At face value, perhaps not much. If you view and contrast, however, the vision of humanity and life that Jesus aspires each of us to achieve in the Bible versus our reality as sinners struggling to behave Christ-like; amazingly, a Gap Analysis approach may be very apropos.
Part of the struggle to live as a Christian, walking in Jesus’s path, is being able to visualize and encapsulate our thoughts, actions and behaviors in a way that emulates the “rules” of God as Jesus lived. At the foundation of Christianity lie the “Ten Commandments”. Let’s begin by labeling them as the desired or future state. Aligning our lives with this desired state constitutes compliance and fulfills the requirements of Christianity, albeit a perfect existence, virtually impossible to achieve as we are imperfect by definition.
As the Golden Gate Bridge was created (constructed) in 1937, it served one monumental and macroscopic purpose, to bridge the gap between San Francisco and Marin County in California. Prior to its existence, traveling 4,200 ft over water to reach a destination (desired state) may have been considered impossible to achieve; much like living the perfect Christian life in accordance to the Bible.
And much like the Golden Gate Bridge transforms a perceived impossibility into reality, Christians can benefit from this example to effectively move toward the desired state (living in accordance to the Ten Commandments as defined in the Bible). This can be accomplished by adopting a perspective of maintaining focus on the end-goal or destination, and not becoming overwhelmed or preoccupied with other things, while progressing toward it.
We are many times distracted in life by seemingly monumental issues and goals, that when placed in proper perspective, are in reality, insignificant. Issues like technology, social norms, leisure, peer pressure, group-think, etc. which over time, unguarded, become false gods in and of themselves.
“The bridge that can effectively transform this perceived impossibility into reality for Christians, is realistically, a collective set of practices that work together to create the necessary synergy to overcome hurdles, face failure, recognize success and realize Christian principles. As the Golden Gate bridge is constructed of many materials, each serving a specific function, the Everyday Christian must likewise employ several approaches to yield the desired state.”
Integral to this end are Prayer, Reflection, Forgiveness, Humility, Kindness, Obedience, Respect, Discipline, Faith and above all, Love. As the Gospel of Thomas indicates, “the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty.”
A life of humble, authentic and sincere means can easily become a more significant presence and example of Christianity, than one of importance, recognition, fame and financial means. It is always intent that is paramount as opposed to method. What matters most is what dwells within your heart. Indeed, these are the “Living Years”. Be well.
There is no doubt that many of us have witnessed evil in our lifetimes. Evil is so hideous, in fact, it leaves long-lasting memories, perhaps better called nightmares, with anyone that has experienced its realm.
Like being “broke”, however, in the financial sense, evil really does not exist as an entity. It is what remains when Truth and Light are removed. More aptly, evil is a vacuum, it is the unwanted, unattractive filth that remains in the absence of God.
When a person is in financial straits, we say he/she is broke. In reality, however, being broke is the vacuum that is created when one loses their financial wealth.
“And so it is with darkness. Darkness is not anything tangible that you can touch, measure or quantify. What we experience as darkness is merely and simply, the absence of light. Darkness can assume many different forms in life; it can be violence, it can be hopelessness, it can be fear and despair. At its foundation, the common denominator that defines darkness and enables it to be experienced, is the absence of God”.
Similarly, light can manifest itself in people in many ways. Light can be reflected by the words a person speaks, the facial gestures that indicate compassion (smile, caring, joy, empathy; yes, even tears), the behaviors that demonstrate and witness the goodness, humility, peace and forgiveness of God. Notably, the presence of God is evidenced by Love. Where there is love, there is God.
Light is fueled by noble, positive and caring thoughts, actions and attitude/demeanor. Each of us creates Positive Energy by choice. It’s all about “intent”. It’s how we choose to think, act and importantly, react. Each of us is responsible for our actions. Each of us is likewise accountable for those actions.
Without ever really knowing it, we have become conditioned since birth to associate evil with darkness. Fears of going down into the dark basement; anxiety of walking alone down a dimly or eerily lit block at dusk; frantically searching for a flashlight or candle when the power goes out at home. Whether these examples truly reflect evil is not the point, the point is that darkness creates fear as darkness equates with evil.
Now then, how does one go about confronting something that really does not exist? Easy! Evil (darkness) is confronted and vanished by Light (positive thoughts and actions, optimism, morally-based behavior, decisions and intent). Core values steeped in moral and ethical behavior, worked over time into the creation of habits; the anticipation of positive events in life that directly impact each of us; gratitude, humility and faith for the good things when they do occur. This is the foundation of Light and Truth. It it the Invitation for God to enter our soul and enrich us as human beings, it is our fate; if we so choose it.
As complex as reality and the human condition have become, when we wade through the murky water of life and relationships, it all boils down to the fundamental concept of Darkness and Light. How wise is God to have chosen this simple yet effective metaphor to illustrate who He is and what He desires for each of us?
One thing that is paramount in life is that details matter, down to the most minute and up to the most obvious. To walk in the Light, we must be ever so vigilant to take notice and deliberately choose all our thoughts, words, actions, relationships, behaviors, etc., so that they align, support and yield the results we intend, for ourselves and for those we influence.
There is indeed a real sense of responsibility, accountability and impact each of us must accept as Christians. Being a Christian is not analogous to a light switch, where we consciously turn it on and off. Like life itself, breathing and our heart beat; it must be continuous for it to work as intended.
In the future, make sure to remember that every little thought, decision, action, intention and influence we create is like that small ripple in the water that is created when a stone is tossed into a lake; from the point of entry, a small wave begins and travels outward forever, impacting everything in its path. Let’s make each of those interactions we create with others, positive and well-intended.
With absolute certainty, those actions, like the boomerang, inevitably return to us in due time. Remember, All Things Must Pass. Be well.
Parallels in life abound. There are common threads among relationships, motivation, discipline, healing, teaching; just to name a few. Parallels, not in the sense of a common denominator of the concepts themselves, but in how these concepts are applied in various scenarios of life. And becoming “good” at life is the ultimate goal, yes?
“As a manager, I learned over time that raising children, in all its glory, excitement and occasional pain, contained specific lessons or approaches to be learned that very effectively carried over to managing people in a business environment. Aspects like motivation, discipline, analysis, problem-solving, personal development and team-building; shared threads of process, insight and self-awareness that could be woven or stitched together to form a cohesive and compassionate strategy to not only accomplish work, but more importantly, develop character, integrity and a sense of purpose in others when viewed and appreciated as precious human beings.”
Equally, there is learning in the interaction, conversation and sense of accomplishment one experiences when it is shared among individuals. A key ingredient, however, in the pursuit of introspective and effective leadership can be distilled into one word and one goal; compassion and building trust.
As with many individuals, some things you learn throughout the course of living, present themselves as simply profound and just stick with you throughout the remainder of your life. For me, one of those “things” was a quote from a management guru, Gordon Shea, as contained in a 1984 Management Briefing for the AMA (American Management Association ).
“Trust is the ultimate intangible. It has no shape or substance, yet it empowers our actions. And its presence or absence can govern our behavior as if it were a tangible force. . . . Trust is the ‘miracle ingredient’ in organizational life–a lubricant that reduces friction, a bonding agent that glues together disparate parts, a catalyst that facilitates action. No substitute–neither threat nor promise–will do the job as well.”
And speaking of parallels, let’s make the quantum leap from business back to life; from trust to its foundation; faith. If not steeped in trust, what is faith? Faith is that trust or belief in something or someone that cannot be seen, touched or perceived by our physical senses, but only felt and experienced with our heart.
When one looks at life from a macro perspective, the essence of life is faith. Faith that the core essentials of our physical being will be provided (food, clothing and shelter). Faith that a means to provide for those essentials will be obtained (job). Faith that our emotional, psychological and meta-physical health will be attained…. You see, Faith is indeed, a strategy for life.
Faith, not in the sense of simply the word, but critically, in the sense of the belief in God, eternal life, salvation and a sense of purpose. Faith is life, as is the oxygen we breathe, the water we drink and the sun we embrace as warmth. Faith is perhaps, the Spiritual DNA of our existence as human beings; as children of God.
Faith is nurtured, cultivated and undeniably grows within each of us as our self-awareness develops and we acknowledge and accept the reality and presence of the supernatural force we call “God”.
Be well, or should I say, “Keep the Faith”.
There are many dimensions to consider when defining a characterization of what is involved in being a Christian. Constructs including God, redemption, salvation, sin, miracles, angels, demons, heaven, hell, faith, rebirth, penance, sacraments, resurrection; and prayer. As an understatement, your personal relationship with God is as unique as you are! Accordingly, it follows that how you communicate with God is also unique as well as what you call and how you define Prayer. Likewise, it will be endlessly amazing and special.
“As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is with prayer. Surely, one can open a Webster’s Dictionary to obtain the standard or commonly accepted description of it, however, like our minds, personality and spirit, prayer means something different, amazing and boundless to each of us.”
Intended to provoke thought and introspection, below is a short list of how one could describe or capture the essence of what prayer represents. This list is by no means all-inclusive, but rather, fertilizer of sorts to help you internalize its meaning:
- Ultimate Conversation with God
- Unwritten Contract with God
- Open-Ended Invitation to God to consume our Heart and Mind
- Unsolicited Plea for Help, Healing, Outcome, Redemption, Forgiveness
- Direct Dialogue with God
- Unfocused Expression of Gratitude
- Offering of Repentance
- Manifestation of Spiritual Resonance
- Checklist of Mortal/Physical Needs or Desires
- Intercession of Divine Nature on your or another person’s behalf
- Alignment of Present with Future
- Fusion of Thought, Intent, Desire, Need and Projection
- Introspective Reflection of our Personal Reality and Timeline
- Affirmation of Belief, Faith and Expectation
- Revelation of Self, Sin, Intent and Benevolence
- Transforming Progression in the Process of Spiritual Maturity
- Offering of Contrition
- Targeted Projection of Self and Energy
Without stating the obvious, prayer simply can not be confined to an entry in the dictionary. It is equally and simultaneously, broad and specific in context as it applies or is used by each human being.
“The most essential aspect, however, is that prayer is an awe-inspiring and Powerful construct. To a degree, it defines our individual spirits as our fingerprint defines our bodies, yet it cannot be seen by the eye, but only touched by the heart.”
As Christians, we must acknowledge the power of prayer and leverage it to advocate benevolence in the world, use it to empower healing, to eradicate pain and promote alignment of spirit and our mortal lives. The outcome will be inner peace, harmony and the courage to live your life to its potential. Similarly, prayer shatters the fear of death and prepares one for eternal salvation. I pray for the redemption of every soul on earth, knowing there is no limit to the grace, mercy and healing of God’s presence in everyone’s life. Be well.
Without question, our time here on Earth is extremely precious, not to mention equally finite. And if you’ve ever pondered about the hereafter, whether it will be pleasant or “as advertised”; indeed, whether you will even hopefully “be” there, then most assuredly, your present life, physical being and presence is absolutely significant, impactful and relevant.
Admittedly, none of us spend an adequate amount of time reflecting on our earthly lives, much less, our eternal one. Even more ironic is the fact, that in the larger picture of consciousness, faith and salvation, our eternal lives are infinitely more critical (pun intended) than our physical or mortal lives.
Why is it then, that we dedicate so little time to nurturing, evaluating and working toward the improvement of our inevitable future? Daily reflection is a habit I have seriously, deliberately and successfully, expended energy to create in an effort to better prepare for the transformation of my spirit and soul at my moment of death. Yes, I think about death on a very regular basis, yet, not in the morbid or morose sense that most people picture it as a subject.
Death, is as an important an event in our lives as is our birth. Accordingly, it is an equally important event in everyone’s life; yet we have come to jubilantly celebrate birth while we mourn, block out and avoid thinking about death.
The Irish have gotten death correct more than most. If you’ve ever been to an Irish funeral or wake, it is anything but sullen, reserved, sad or quiet. In reality, it is treated in its proper context; death is the passageway to eternity and is truly cause for a Celebration!
As mysterious, unknown and feared as death has become for most of us, it should be preceded by an equally important and meaningful life. How would you respond if someone approached you and posed this question to you; “Is your life a vibrant testimony of your faith and values, or is it an empty ritual of routine daily tasks that only serve your physical and present life?”
“Have you grown and progressed in the refinement of spiritual being or have you simply become a very good Hunter and Gatherer? Indeed, if your soul could speak, would it whisper of eternal life and redemption, or would it boast of xBox, the NFL, Friday Night out with the boys, and weekends at the beach?”
If we are to make it to the next level of existence and spirituality, our present lives must be dominated by the Primal Force of Conscience, a continuous reminder of what is right and what is wrong, conscious and deliberate behaviors and actions that support and align with our core values, and regular evaluation of those behaviors that deviate and/or distract us from our ultimate goal; to live in harmony and more importantly, to live forever.
At the moment of your death, will you be unanimously convicted of being a Christian, living a noble and obedient life, or will your life have been a continuous rerun of “going through the motions” and have become a hung jury? Furthermore, if values, behaviors and memories represent spiritual “currency”, what’s in your wallet?
Look not to your habits, but rather, deep within your heart to live a life full of testimony as you ponder your future in the Empty Sky. Be well.