The nuances of life abound in our everyday physical world. Nuances in thought, context, demeanor, intent, knowledge, emotion, experience, and determination. Indeed, how we think about something profoundly impacts what we think.
Our senses, all eight of them, equip us to interact, impact and experience our physical world. The first five, everyone has been taught to recognize (see, hear, smell, taste, and touch). The next three, I believe complement and extend each of our ability to interpret the world, above and beyond the physical context.
There is a sense of Space and Time, which I equate to balance and equilibrium; something I collectively categorize as the “body“. A sense of body is the accumulation of our five core senses, empowering each of us to holistically feel the physical world along with our place in it.
Next, there is the phenomenon known as ESP (Extra Sensory Perception), similarly viewed as Intuition, a sense or feeling of future events, truths and/or knowledge. This inexplicable sense is possessed and felt by some more than others, and I refer to it as the “mind“. Most who have experienced it will unequivocally swear it is as real as the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the sun that warms us.
And the culmination of these senses that takes us to that “next level”, is faith. It is our “soul” and it literally lives forever and uniquely identifies each of us as does our physical fingerprint, personality, and spirit. The soul is that part of us that separates from our physical bodies when we die.
Some people may react to the concept of soul and spirit with confusion, amazement and/or denial. I choose to believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, so it is a very short “leap of faith” for me to acknowledge the reality and presence of my soul.
Following is a snippet from my book (in progress) that speaks to this construct:
“Accordingly, this is a story about the power of faith, salvation and literal eternal life. A life, however, not confined to our physical senses, but rather, life thought of in terms of consciousness, energy, relationships and contentment; more like metaphysical life. Viewed in this construct, life obliterates the earthly limitations that envelop, partner, bound and seemingly dominate our existence and thoughts.
Eternal life is an existence and state of mind that is manifested or channeled through self-awareness, courage, vision, trust and what I refer to as Incomprehensible Truth.
In a world where we have been effectively taught to let our mind and imagination ‘go wild’ in exercises that have created science fiction, entertainment and new product development, we have been equally conditioned to limit or exclude that imagination when applied to God, mortality and eternal life.
In much the same way that everyone acknowledges Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and characters including Superman and Batman, there are bridled expectations when the subjects of religion, Jesus Christ and the afterlife are broached.
One explanation that warrants further analysis of credibility, addresses the inability, or more aptly, the unwillingness of human thought to acknowledge or attempt to consider the likelihood of eternal life, the existence of a conjoined physical life and soul or spirit, and the reality of conscious continuity after physical death.”
As evidenced above, contemplation about our presence, our being, our longevity in life; indeed, eternal life can require a lot of energy, imagination and an ability to connect the dots to construct the complete picture.
And this discussion brings us to the “Hand of God”. The presence of our Creator can be felt, seen, heard, touched and experienced in the multitude of natural, living and sculpted features He created in our physical environment, including the inhabitants.
God’s fingerprints are unmistakably evident on nearly everything in the world; you see, He created it all. The breathtaking beauty of a newborn child, the glow from a golden sunset, the majesty of a flying eagle, the delicate whisper of the wind as it caresses pine trees, the sweet melody of a flute, the magnificence of the Rocky Mountains, the splendor of Niagara Falls. The presence of God can be witnessed in all that is good, and all that can be good.
The truth of the matter is that all of creation is merely a reminder of the vast beauty, power, and grace of God, as a symbol of His Love for us and His desire for us to be happy, to love one another, and most importantly, to Love God and to spread His Love throughout humanity.
So, the next time, you encounter someone or something that abounds with beauty, radiance, and goodness, remember all of it originates with God. Give Thanks, demonstrate Gratitude and practice Humility as you walk the path of your journey. God Bless you. Be well. Look for the Good – Always.
Brooks and Dunn (Believe)
Old man Wrigley lived in that white house
Down the street where I grew up
Momma used to send me over with things
We struck a friendship up
I spent a few long summers out on his old porch swing
Says he was in the war when in the navy
Lost his wife, lost his baby
Broke down and asked him one time
How ya keep from going crazy
He said I’ll see my wife and son in just a little while
I asked him what he meant
He looked at me and smiled, said
I raise my hands, bow my head
I’m finding more and more truth in the words written in red
They tell me that there’s more to life than just what I can see
Oh I believe
George Strait (I Saw God Today)
I just walked down the street to the coffee shop
had to take a break
I’d been by her side for eighteen hours straight
I saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk
pushing up through the concrete
like it was planted right there for me to see
the flashin’ lights, the honkin’ horns
all seemed to fade away
in the shadow of that hospital at 5:08
I saw God today
I’ve been to church
I’ve read the book
I know He’s here, but I don’t look
near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I’d just slow down to stop and stare
opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today
I saw a couple walking by they were holding hands
Man, she had that glow
yeah I couldn’t help but notice she was starting to show
I stood there for a minute takin’ in the sky
lost in that sunset
a splash of amber melted in the shades of red
I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She’s sleeping like a rock
My name on her wrist wearing tiny pink socks
She’s got my nose, she’s got her mama’s eyes
My brand new baby girl
She’s a miracle
I saw God today
Having been immersed in various aspects of business my entire life, I’ve learned two truths; first is that the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know; second is that I must never stop learning.
Indeed, we are all travelers in this life, having originated as a Child of God, having learned about the world around us, having learned (and still learning) about ourselves, and the pinnacle of life, learning where we are going.
Let us begin with who we think we are. Each of us has likes/dislikes, fears, joys, values,
opinions, experiences, knowledge, awareness, interests; and goals. Ah yes, goals, those at times, seemingly unattainable, unreachable, yet shimmering wishes of future reality.
I view goals as nothing less than my future self, with my goals being an inextricable part of living my life. As much as I am based in logic and reality, my inner spirit remains unbounded, specific to what I can achieve and most importantly, who I wish to become… Who I Will become.
“And in the business world, there exists something known as a “Gap Analysis“, an esoteric and objective view into the chasm of where we are, where we want to be or go, and the gap that awaits the two ends to become a continuous and joined path. This gap, is what precipitates clear vision, hard work, and determination to build the bridge.”
Building bridges, then, is how we transform ourselves, from who we think we are, to who we desire to become. At times, we may perceive that bridge to be miles long, while at other times, within a stones throw. It is not only an amazing objective and journey, but an amazingly beautiful accomplishment, when we make it our own reality. And the best part, is that WE determine how intricate, wide and long that bridge becomes in reality.
The best mentor, coach, counselor and role model I have found is Jesus Christ. We are all admittedly flawed, sinners and works in progress, yet, the Guiding Light of Christ is unyielding, warm, trustworthy, fulfilling and eternal. The faith each of us possesses is a Shield against evil, and by exercising our faith, that shield is made strong. Each of us determines how strong our faith can be, and accordingly, how strong our resistance is to evil. In Truth, how strong our Love for God can be. If the question is life; the Answer is God.
Lastly, to build that bridge requires tools; Tools of faith, good intent, authenticity, respect, gratitude, reverence, humility, and love. So, gather these tools and learn how they are used to construct Your bridge… Going to anywhere you wish to go.
There are numerous examples of Racing and each has its own domain and range. NASCAR, Marathon Running, World Cup Sailing, Tour De France Bicycle, Olympic Swimming, and more. None, however, are more striking nor more important, than the Race against Time.
In any race, one must consider the length, the duration, obstacles, requirements (rules), anticipated problem
s, physical requirements and environment, goal… And then, as a “Racer”, you must perform, survive obstacles… and lastly, Finish the Race.
“Throughout the Race (aka Your Life), you will need to manage change(s), some planned, others unplanned, some positive, others not so much. The extent to which you are effective and successful in dealing with change and in adapting to loss, to a large degree, will determine how rich and abundant your life becomes.”
And, with any race, who you have in your “pit crew” largely impacts the outcome of the race. Let it be known we are in this race together, to be interdependent, to love, sacrifice, suffer, support, and Help each other.
So, who do want in your crew and how do you select them? Skill, Experience, Familiarity, Knowledge… Shared Values? Secondly, what kind of dynamic(s) do you want to create within your team? Conformity, Creativity, Commitment, Compassion, Character, Charisma? Rest assured, designing, recruiting, creating and then, managing your team is no task to be taken lightly.
To be sure, books have been written on each of these important questions and issues; Change, Values, Teams, Racing, Group Dynamics, Values…. Without question, Life is complicated, yes? So, be very focused and dedicated to living your life with the intent to “go the distance”, to be “true to your heart”, to leverage the gifts God has given you, and ultimately, to reach your destination… On your terms, following your heart, listening to your conscience, living your dream.
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.