This weekend the training wheels come off. My daughter is at the age where she wants to ride her bike like the big girls do.
I’ve been through this twice before. There is a nervous anticipation on this day of transition as Dad holds the seat pushing the bike ever faster, rider clutching the handlebars ever tighter. The excitement in the rider’s mind tempered by the thoughts of what could happen when Dad lets go.
I’ve been working on a transition of my own, removing some of my own spiritual training wheels. My transition is about moving from a mindset of hope to faith.
I do profess to be a man of faith. But in those moments of trial, I often find my thoughts coming from outside the framework of faith, relying more on the familiar refrain of hope.
DIVINE EXPECTATIONS Hope is inherently uncertain, a prayerful wish for a desired outcome. But I’m at a point where hope just isn’t enough. It’s time for a different conversation with God.
Moving from hope to faith is a huge step, the biggest step of my meandering spiritual journey. It involves trusting more than yourself and what you think you know to be true. It involves looking beyond what is and finding the strength and peace in something greater than you which is already residing within you.
Faith carries with it a divine expectation, a trust and acceptance that all will be exactly as it should be, regardless of my worldly expectations or demands. Hope’s passive nature is contrasted by faith’s proactivity. Faith requires me to actively trust and allow, to receive and not resist, to align and then realign myself with my Creator…all necessary components in my attempts to fully express all I have been created to become.
Working towards becoming all I have been created to become creates a beautifully codependancy; God needs me to step up in order to fulfill His promise for me, and I need Him to help me get there. Hope would never get me this far.
How far will hope get you in your life?
Once my daughter’s training wheels come off, I’m sure her initial attempts at riding a two-wheeler will be anything but smooth. I have the same expectations on my ongoing transition towards embracing a deeper, more trusting level of faith. But time and practice will certainly make us both more proficient.
It’s a great day to be you!
March 8, 2014 No Comments
Sometimes receiving is really nothing more than giving.
I’ve had issues with receiving. Maybe because growing up there wasn’t much to receive. Maybe that fostered the feelings of unworthiness which destined me to be more of a giver than a receiver.
Age has brought with it enough worldly success where I’ve been able to purchase the things I’ve wanted to purchase when I’ve wanted to purchase them. Trust me, nothing extravigant. But it felt more comfortable buying the book or CD for myself than receiving it as a gift.
When Father’s Day or my birthday rolled around, I simply and politely told the wife and kids I really didn’t want any presents. I already have what I need. No need to make a fuss or to spend your money on me. I was content with what I already had, and I’d gotten to a point where material things really weren’t that important to me.
LOVE & GRATITUDE While noble in my intentions of teaching my children of how unimportant material things really are, I can’t help but think my actions were undermining my intentions to teach them one of life’s most valuable lessons.
Life is a celebration.
Underneath what we may call mundane and ordinary, life is to be celebrated. I know I play a very important role in the lives of my kids. But I now feel that my saying “no, thank you” to their request to celebrate the important days of my life shows them that perhaps life isn’t really a celebration after all.
In denying a willingness to receive, I was denying my kids a chance to joyously express their love and gratitude toward someone as important as I am in their lives.
Expressing love and gratitude is something I never want to see them suppress.
RECEIVING THE LOVE I’d been treating God the same way I’d been treating my kids. God wants to celebrate all the days of my life, and shower me with the most amazing gifts. Gifts in the form of all the talents, gifts, and abilities I have been given. “Thanks, God, but it’s really no big deal,” had been my response. “No need to make a fuss.”
The wiser version of me has become quite comfortable in my role as a receiver. I’ve become fuss-worthy, with both my kids and God. I know how important it is to let those who love you shower you with their love. It’s all a part of a circular celebration, to love and to be loved.
Love and gratitude are to be expressed, never repressed, and I’m no longer getting in the way.
So now, it’s a big deal. Birthdays, Father’s Day, and all the days of our lives. Any material gifts are secondary to the greatest gift of all…
Let those who love you love you.
It’s a great day to be you!
February 28, 2014 No Comments
Happiness. I’ve sought after it like a bounty hunter. But just when you think you’ve found it, quite often it slips through your fingers…
There is an iconic scene in the film “Rocky 2″ where Rocky’s trainer challenges him to catch a chicken running around him in an enclosed area. The lesson was to teach Rocky some agility in the ring, but in watching this physically powerful fighter struggle to catch the little chicken, it reminded me of how often we struggle to grasp our own peace, our own happiness. Even if it’s right at our own feet.
Happiness is fluid, even slippery. It ebbs and flows. Or maybe that’s just what we’ve made it out to be. How often do we make happiness Read the rest of this entry »
January 5, 2014 No Comments