Tag Archives: spiritual journey

Long Distance Conversation with Mom and Dad

Mom? Dad? Where am I? Have I crossed over?

No, son, you haven’t “crossed over” it’s not your time yet.  And who talks like that? Crossed over? Anyway, come and sit with us.  We know the last several months have been difficult for you, and we thought now would be an excellent time to visit you.

Well, it’s a little unusual, to say the least, but you’re right about that the last few months, they have trying.  Sometimes I say to myself, why even bother?  Does it matter?  If the big man wants me to suffer, I’m more or less powerless to stop it.

Is that what you think?

That’s what I know. I mean, I pray to him. I’ve tried to live my life the correct way, yet here I am dealing with this.  It’s like he has forsaken me.

So you believe that if you simply ask, he’ll look at you, and boom like that, you’re problems disappear? Interesting? But I can understand how you may feel forsaken.  You know your mother and I have always believed you to be remarkable.  Someone born with the unique talents to accomplish whatever you set your mind to—the empathy to treat others with love and respect and not expect anything in return. The intelligence to see a problem and reason out the best solution. So it is surprising that you do not see the obvious.

Which is?

That the Lord will help you by showing you the way, guiding you to right path, but you must be willing to walk the road. There are no easy fixes.  If you believe in him, he will believe in you, he will show you the way. But showing you is not the same as doing for you.  Sometimes we forget that.

So you’re saying this is a test of my faith?

No, what you will soon come to understand, son, is he does not crave your belief.  If he did, he would not have given you free will.  What he does desire is that you live your life in accordance with the principles he has laid out.  That you treat others with the respect and love, you desire.  This is especially important in times of darkness.  How you treat others when it appears all things around you are failing is a look inside your soul.  You see, it is not a test in your faith in him but an examination of yourself.  If you pass, it does not matter if you say you believe in him or not because your actions will show that you believe in what is right and pure, and that is what he desires for each of us.

I get it, righteously live my life, and the Lord will lead me in the direction of good things.  Thankfully I was raised by two beautiful people who instilled in me the righteous way.

It is good to see despite some bumps in the road; you have chosen to live your life adhering to the principles your father and I set for you.  But what you must remember is that as a living being, your definition of “good things” might differ from the definition of good things on a spiritual level.

Whoa, that seems like a cop out.  Are you saying that no matter what you do, you may find you do not always get the happy ending you search for?

Yes and no.  If you define your happiness as only what you can measure on the plane of existence for which you currently reside, then I guess you could say no.

What?

Look at it this way, your mother and I are talking to you now.  This plane of existence is very different than the one in which you usually reside.  Yet the look on your face when you saw us.  The feeling of love emanating from your heart and the happiness you feel right now exist but in quite a different way than if we were on your normal plane of existence.  Stay still for a minute, close your eyes, and listen to your heart. Now let’s go back to the very beginning when you first saw us, and you asked have you crossed over.  Suppose you had? Would that feeling of happiness and love you have right now cease to exist?

I think I understand. I genuinely miss you and how you always explained things to me.  How you are able to make me understand things other could not, how you always showed me what is right is wrong. Most importantly, no matter how stubborn I was, how you never gave up on me, how you loved me as no other two people could ever love me.

You were our child, special in that you were not born of us, but we chose you to be our child.  As much as you think we impacted you, watching you grow into the man you are today brought happiness to us as well.  And do not believe we do not continue to benefit from that as we continue to watch you.  We even cheat a bit, when permitted of course, and help you through some rough moments.  The day will come when we all exist together again as a family, but that time is not now.  You have much to accomplish yet, and we will be looking on proud parents. But for now, we must leave you.

Wait, will I even remember this?

Of course, I wouldn’t go around broadcasting it, spirituality isn’t what it used to be, and some may want to have your head examine, so let this be our little secret, son, and remember this is not goodbye. It’s only till next time. We love you.

And I love you, Mom and Dad, till next time.

Dinner for the week

Last Sunday, I spent a good part of my morning and afternoon cooking for the week. Italian meatloaf (really turkey loaf), Cornish game hens, collard greens, black bean soup, and spaghetti with mussels. Rewind almost a year ago, and I was recovering from a cardiac arrest. Those who were there have told me the Doctors on the scene worked to bring me back longer than they should; the priest who stopped in to see me each day in the ICU called me miracle man. My recovery was quicker than was expected. My physical rehabilitation progressed nicely. Three months after the event, I went home from the rehab center and returned to work shortly after. A miracle? Maybe but more likely just another day for the Lord Almighty, who chose to reach down and touch me and say, not yet, my son, there is still work for you to do on this Earth. Now I won’t lie; it hasn’t been smooth sailing since the event some days are better than others there are bumps along the road health-wise. Despite that, every day, I wake and can see and smell the wonderful world around me and know of all the love my family and friends have for me, a love so apparent during my recovery and no doubt a significant factor in it. For this, I am truly blessed, blessed that the hand of the Lord has touched me and given me this second chance at life. It allowed me to spend a Sunday cooking for the week because despite what bumps maybe along the way, in my mind, I know He stands over me and will allow me to wake another day, so I might as well have something to eat on those days. I do not know what His ultimate plan is for me, but I know he has touched me, and he is guiding me, and I am eternally thankful for that.

Nothing is impossible in HIS world

Watching Joel Osteen this morning, and the Lord must be using him to preach right at me and my current situation this morning. He is preaching that we should never laugh in disbelief at what God puts in front of us, even if it seems impossible. For when you laugh, God will simply say welcome my child to my world.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
It may not happen right away; there may be obstacles placed in your way. This is never going to happen, you may think. But that is only because, as humans, we can not always see the larger picture but rest assured, HE does. We must keep the faith, continue to praise the Lord, continue to push through the obstacles, and when He blesses you with that which you thought was impossible. As Olsteen called it, a “whoever thought miracle.” You won’t be laughing in disbelief any longer; you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
I have congestive heart failure, and on June 7th, I had a cardiac event. My heart stopped, doctors told my sister things don’t look so good. But God looked down on me and said, son, it is yet your time, and HE breathed the gift of life back into my body. A week later, the hospital minister would come into my room and, with a huge laugh, say, miracle man, I can’t believe you are up and talking to me after what you looked like last week. He was laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
My cardiologist tells me the medicine he prescribes for me and the diet he says I should follow will help me maintain my health. But you can’t just reverse congestive heart failure. I laughed in disbelief at that. Sure I will take my medicine and follow my diet, but while he may prescribe medications and suggest diets to maintain my health, it is only HE who can truly heal me, and then we will all be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.
You see, I have faith that the Lord has not brought me to this point along the spiritual journey to drop me off on the side of the road. I have faith that while I may not see it, HE knows the big picture. HE sees what he has in store for me. I have faith that as Osteen preached this morning, HE is positioning me to do something positive. I will continue to pray to and praise him, and you should too. No matter what your current situation may be—no matter what obstacles may appear to be in your path. Keep the faith, and soon you will be laughing in amazement.
Nothing is impossible in HIS world.

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You may at times neglect your faith but it is never to late to renew it

When I first moved into my new apartment, I was gifted an African Violet as a house warming gift. I remember thinking how beautiful it was with its purple blooms. Now I’m not exactly known as someone with a green thumb, but the African Violet did not need much attention. You have to keep the soil moist to dry and allow the soil around roots to dry out before watering. It thrived in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. Pretty much, it was set and go and enjoy its beauty.
In the beginning, I made a point of taking great care of the plant; it was, after all, easy to do. I also found myself looking at it as a source of relaxation and motivation due to its striking color and amazing blooms. Just by looking at it, I could feel my spirits being lifted as it seemingly gave me a sense of purpose.
As the months went by, the good times were plentiful. Success seemed to be around every corner. With success, I found myself spending more time at the office as I endeavored to continue, which at the time was a rapid rise up the corporate ladder. When I wasn’t in the office, I was out networking and enjoying the social scene. During this time, I neglected my beautiful African Violet that had provided me with so much inspiration. Then as fast as the success came, the economy took a downward turn. Cutbacks were on the horizon. I survived the company purge, but the rise up the corporate ladder came to a dramatic halt. The large bonuses that I had foolishly incorporated into my budget to finance my overextended lifestyle dried up. At the same time, my girlfriend, who I believed loved me, answered the question New Edition once asked. Can you stand the rain? As you may have guessed, her answer was no, and she told me it was over. She made up some excuse about us growing apart, but it was pretty obvious the distance between us only widened as my bank account lessened.
I fell into a funk. Depressed, I cut myself off from most of the world. I frequently asked myself, why is this happening? Spend many a weekend laying in bed with no desire to get up and embrace the day. One day, I looked at my long-neglected African Violet, hoping it could once again inspire me with its beauty. When I looked at it, I saw it had stop flowering and its leaves had turned yellow. I immediately understood that it was my failure to water it and cultivate its soil because I was so busy enjoying the good times, that was. Responsible for its current condition.
I had taken it for granted and assumed that it would always be there in all its beauty as an inspiration when I needed it.
Your faith is like the African Violet; it does not require super high maintenance. But it does require that we not neglect it. Not cultivate and continue to strengthen it in the good times and expect that it will merely be there for us in times of angst. We must continue to take steps along our spiritual journey, praising the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon us in good times. Strengthen our belief each day so that we do not turn away from the Lord and egotistically pat ourselves on the back for achieving such success, forgetting that without the Lord, we would be nothing.
I looked at the African Violet and took steps to restore its beauty. Watering it, cultivating its soil, ensuring that it received the proper amount of sunlight. Soon its beauty began to return. It started to bloom once again. New bright and vibrant green leaves took the place of the ones that had turned yellow. My renewed commitment to the African Violet brought me a new and stronger plant and, with it, a new source of inspiration. Now each day, I look at it in all of its beauty and go out and embrace all that the world offers me, good and bad.
As with the African Violet, you can renew your faith by recommitting to the Lord. The Lord does not hold grudges and His blessings are always there for you. As you restart your spiritual journey and offer your praise unto him, you will soon see that your situation will begin to brighten in time.

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