……you’re still reading
Before I get to far ahead let’s talk some about faith. I never had it! Really! I was brought up in the Mormon church and never gave any of this much thought. It was assumed that after high school I would participate in a church mission then marry a good Mormon girl and have lots of children. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Well that didn’t happen for me as I was a bit of a rebel when I was young. Going my own path would be for me and that I did. I left home when I was about 18 years old and moved to Arizona to live with my father. My dad was not a religious man so it was refreshing not to be attending church all the time. I’m pretty sure it was then that my agnostic point of view took shape. It was easy to just not really participate in any church, religion or faith for the next thirty or so years. Even as a married man with children, I never went to church or introduced my kids to any level of faith teachings. Why bother I would say. Funny thing though? Faith was always surrounding me wherever I would be. As a salesman faith and faith principles would be taught in most sales training classes. People at work would talk about their faith, always on television I would hear it. Faith and God were always around me but I would not jump in. I just didn’t want to talk about it, it was uncomfortable! Once while attending a sales seminar we attendees were told to draw a wheel with eight spokes.
So I drew one like this, then we were told to mark the spokes from 1-10 rating our own life experiences, then connect the dots. Needless to say when it came to the spiritual spoke my wheel was very flat on one side.
I really knew for a long time this part of my life was not in balance, what was not known by me was the effect this imbalance would have on my life to come.
All this talk of faith became very important as my activity in the 12 Steps of Alcoholic’s anonymous became part of my life. Earlier I wrote of reading the Bible when I first stopped drinking. Believe me, I found it an interesting book of incredible stories. So many people say it’s hard to read and perhaps that’s true. However I struggled through it every night for a couple of months then read it a second time and it was much easier to understand. Reading this book really did not lead me to my faith however. I just knew it was time for me to decide what I believed. Was I to believe that no God existed, or that no higher power surrounds us? That was just not possible for me, I really could not accept an atheist position. So if I believed in a higher power, should I have faith? Well yes faith made sense to me. After all someone or something had been watching over me all these years. After all the screw ups in my life, my wrongs, my lies, my craziness. I was still here and pretty healthy at that, so I knew about faith. Now it was only a matter of deciding whether or not to accept and celebrate my faith. To take one last leap of faith on my own to believe that God was real or not. Oh the proof of this can easily disputed if one wants, but I always had this one question that still haunts me. A question that no scientist can really answer? The one thing that makes me believe that a God exits. That question is; “how do we know to breathe?”
Only a higher power can decide that. Knowing that, I chose to practice my believe as a Christian and celebrate as a Lutheran. I did indeed take a leap of faith and was baptized into the Christian faith at a Wisconsin Synod of the Lutheran Church in all places the heart of Mormon land “Salt Lake City, Utah“. It felt Great!
For me and I can only really speak to that, I found freedom. My eight spoke wheel of life wasn’t so flat anymore. My life got easier, it really did and has.
My first and second year of sobriety was only a beginning of the tests to come. My relationships with my friends, my family, my children and all those I knew would be affected by choices I would make. As I have learned over these years is that many people care about each of us just as we care about many people ourselves. They all want the best for us and make every effort. But until we decide for ourselves to surrender our self-centered behavior and begin to have faith our lives will never be peaceful. We will never be able to lend a helping hand up to those we care about without doing this for ourselves.
As I talk more about my times and trials to come it should become clear I am still learning these lessons everyday of my life.
You’re still reading, I’m still writing, so please keep following……
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