I’ve wondered many times when I was a child, what life would be like when I was an adult; a husband; a father. My imagination would conjure up visions of a burly man, physically fit, yet understanding, compassionate and loving. I would shudder at the thought of the tremendous responsibility of marriage, and even more, of fatherhood. The mere thought of this “serious” future that awaited me would quickly bring me back to reality; the reality of an eight-year-old boy at the precipice of manhood, or so I thought.
My journey was far from over, yet I have always been able to visualize it, almost touch it. Growing up in a small town afforded much of the quality of life that people today cherish and search for when raising a family. Surely, it lacked in cultural variety and experience, yet it grounded me in a forged way that would serve me well in my life ahead.
“Like most other boys growing up in the 60’s, there was beer, a bit of cursing, plenty of outdoor sports, bikes to ride, movies to see and girls to gawk. And these things were indeed memorable, yet in my family, one thing trumped them all and that was Church on Sunday.”
At the time, even being an altar boy, I missed much of the essence of what having faith is all about. Perhaps it was mired in the overtures of the Catholic Church financial bulletins, where your family name was used as a club by disclosing your contributions. Perhaps it was overshadowed by the procedure, rigidity and absence of emotion by the clergy. Perhaps it was a victim of an emphasis on Catholicism and not of Jesus Christ and the Bible. But it was there to be discovered, experienced and revered, nonetheless.
I’ve always been one to pray, heavily in times of “need”, but also in times of blessing, bounty and benefit. And even though every child, adult and Catholic saw the same crucifix and Jesus, my Jesus was special because He spoke and listened to me.
In all my years, I’ve yet to be disappointed, angered or spiteful by my Jesus Christ. For even though my prayers weren’t always answered in MY timeframe, I accepted whatever response I received from my Jesus Christ, because I knew he was Almighty, Omnipotent and Kind. That faith, attitude or core value system has saved my life many times; from preventing me from making mistakes, to my physical safety to being the recipient of good things happening to me as a result of my “choices”.
You see, each of us must find our own path, one bridled in our own sense of morality, and bounded by God’s grace. A path only limited by our imagination. I simply can’t imagine living a worthwhile life without the guidance, feedback and love of God. I know not everyone shares that same belief, and that is ok, for the essence of our being is that of choice. To a degree, we create our own future by the choices we make. And for me, what better resource could one have, than Jesus Christ as your mentor, friend, Master and Creator?
As it was for me and as it will continue, when in doubt, I’ll follow the Son. It’s a highly personal matter and it will remain that way. Be well and choose wisely. God Bless you.
Throughout the course of your life, you have invariably introduced yourself to many people; a prospective employer, a (new) friend, neighbor, co-worker, relative, customer, professional group or individual. That one minute of opportunity to convey your essence as a human being, Your beliefs, Your values, Your journey.
And standing on the other side of your conversation, is the individual listening to, assessing, comprehending and yes, perhaps judging who you are, why you are and what you are; much like the mirror on the wall. And just like the transformation of analog television to HD (High Definition) digital broadcast, the picture we reflect can be extremely clear, bright and even potentially unforgiving.
It comes to no surprise, then, that it is critically important to provide an accurate, focused and understandable picture of yourself to others, so they can hopefully and ultimately “get you”. Much like a book’s title is testimony to its contents, the life we live on a daily basis becomes our testimony of who we are and of our being at our inner core. Our life defines our spirit and soul; as it was meant to be.
When each of us contemplates our own personal testimony, it is imperative that we present ourselves with authenticity, sincerity and determination. When we live our lives in this fashion, people take us more seriously, treat us with more respect and associate us with a higher level of credibility and trust. The image we project in truth, reflects our own sense of personal integrity, character and self-worth.
Without doubt, a journey down this path has increased potential for arriving at a meaningful destination and making a difference in life, ours, others and the future.
These are indeed, heavy and powerful concepts. And most of us, from early on, are rightly taught to appreciate the finer things in life, including nature, simplicity, kindness, along with having a good sense of humor. Yes, these are important aspects of life to understand and appreciate, however, we must remember the fundamental purpose our lives serve; to be a testimony of Truth and a student of self-awareness.
“As assuredly as a cup has a purpose to be filled with nourishment, our lives likewise serve a purpose to be filled with the spirit of our uniqueness and journey, the nourishment of our destiny.”
When you look in the mirror, who do you see? More importantly, who do you want to see? In the BIG picture of life, we are all oh, so Lucky. Be well.