Walking the Path

Every journey begins with one step. Taking that first step can be most difficult part of the journey and sometimes it feels like it can even be impossible. The short distance may actually feel like a marathon. So many things can prevent you from even finding the path let alone walking upon it. 

You may find yourself repeating the same mistakes and your life is going nowhere. A life that goes in circles is a life that cannot grow. No matter how far you travel, if you are going in a circle you will finish the journey where you began.  

Why do people travel in circles? Well as it is said, those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. The main reason life becomes like a racetrack and people go in circles is that their past keeps manifesting itself in the present. Mistakes are repeated and a person never seems to be able to let go of the past or people from the past refuse to let go of them. 

Why should it be so hard to reach the path and to walk along it? The answer is you must get out of your own way. Satan does not want to let go and to release his claws from the hapless sinner. Using all his powers he seeks to cloud judgment and provide distractions and temptations so that many people never even begin their journey. 

When you start on the path to becoming a conqueror you become a warrior. As a warrior you must fight battles. You enemies will be the temptations Satan puts in your path to prevent you from realizing your true potential. Not all obstacles are the same. Some may be cleverly disguised in such a way that they do not even appear to be obstacles. 

However you must be on guard. Be ready to question everything, ask yourself how your daily activities and habits are contributing to moving you forward. May be you are actually doing something only through force of habit and although it may appear harmless enough; actually, it is keeping you trapped.  

You remain treading water and instead of moving forward on a journey you deviate and struggle to break free. Make full use of the tools God has placed at your disposal. He has given you a critical mind and the ability to make choices. Learn from the scriptures everyday and also take the lessons to heart. Only then will you truly walk the path.

 

Get It In Your Head

Who needs to memorize Scripture when you can pull it up on your smart phone in seconds? I say that is more of a reason to memorize them. We have become so dependent on electronic devices that we have forgotten how to use our brains.

I tend to be old-fashioned when it comes to memorizing Scripture and learning other things. Dedicate yourself to memorizing Scripture on a daily or weekly basis whichever is best for you. I believe that whatever is in your mind and heart belongs to you and you can retrieve it at any time. God forbids we are unable to get access to our electronic devices. Where will we be?

Memorizing Scripture will allow you to have the Word of God at your disposal and you can quickly select a verse that can speak to your current situation. Instead of reverting back to our bad habits to remedy a situation, we can speak the Word of God and find the comfort and the solution we need.

 

Pray Daily

As we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we learn how much we need God as human beings. We learn about the most awesome and powerful God and amazingly we have access to speak to him whenever we want to. We can talk to him about anything.

According to Ephesians 6:18, “we are to pray at times.” Our God is available to hear us and supply all our needs in every season of life. He is not like the friend who disappears in bad times or the family members who turn their backs on you when you needed them most. No, God is here for you in the good, bad, scary, frustrating, and the most disastrous times of your life. He is always there!

Therefore, daily prayer is your lifeline—your constant connection to the one who has our very best interest at heart. First Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to pray without ceasing. That is how we have fellowship with our God. We can pray to him anytime and anywhere. The prayers can be long or short. You can pray silently or aloud. God does not put as many restrictions on us as we put on ourselves, so let’s go and enjoy your God through prayer on a daily basis.

 

Got Questions?

We all have questions about life and the problems we face. When you can’t find the answers to your question, consider reading the WORD. Reading and studying God’s Word are essential to our Christian walk because it lets us know how we should live our lives.

God gave us his word to guide, strengthen, and comfort us. The Word of God has changed my life and I am sure that it can change your life. I have seen many lives healed from addiction, sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. The Bible is an answer book for all the questions we may experience on this earth.

You can get started by reading fifteen minutes a day. You may consider participating in a reading plan that will facilitate you in reading the Bible in one year. There is an even more aggressive plan that will help you to read the Bible through three months or 90 days. You have many choices. Go to a Christian book store and go through a few Bibles to determine what translation appeals to you the most. For the most part, the indexes will have supplemental information such as reading plans to assist you in your journey.

In addition, there are many Bible study curriculum available in the Christian book store as well. My personal favorites are studies from Kay Arthur and Dr. Charles Stanley. However, today you have many options. You may want to search for free Bible study online. You have access to print, audio, and video. Getting involved in a small group at your church or in your local community can help enhance the experience and allow you to fellowship with other believers.

 

Awareness … Part 3

When we meet people, we should never attempt to impose our thoughts into their minds. We cannot know with any certainty what another person is thinking. By imposing our past-focused worldview upon another we do not contribute to a better understanding of life. If anything, we deprive ourselves of any possibility of learning from another person’s experience. We see what we want to see and nothing else.

What happens when you accidentally touch a pan of boiling water? Or when you are walking along the street and out the corner of your eye you catch sight of an object rapidly moving towards you? The majority of people would automatically recoil and try to move away from the danger. Our brains are designed to react quickly against perceived threats. We do not need time to think in either of the described situations. Instead, our brains react to keep our bodies safe. This is an unconscious reaction. An act of self-preservation.

These unconscious reactions serve us well and keep us safe. If we had to process every single piece of information we receive on a daily basis, we would be unable to function. We would become paralyzed and nothing would ever be done. However, sometimes our brains do not act in our best interests. As humans, we operate at a higher cognitive level than other species that can only react to external stimulus. We must exercise good judgment. We must seek the Spirit of God when it comes to becoming aware of our own reality.

 

Awareness … Part 2

How can I make sense of all this?

How can I make sense of all this?

When we become aware of the big impact that the past has on our present, we can fully engage in the present instead of subjecting ourselves to what I call the “invasion.” It is an invasion because it is truly a battle that takes place within our mind; it is warfare and we are poorly equipped to fight it if we do not know the Word of God. When we continuously view things and circumstances from a past-time perspective, we remain stuck in that time frame; our choices and decisions are strongly compromised.

We try to walk on and live our lives, but the past will never stop its intrusion. Maybe we catch a glance from an old acquaintance we randomly encounter in the street; suddenly the past has come back into our lives. We imagine they are looking at us in a criticizing manner and  judging us. Even if we have not seen this person for many years, the inner voice in our head says:  “Oh, look. I bet he/she is talking about me, I bet he/she is thinking about all those past years.

So we start to avoid certain places or groups of people. We want to leave the past behind us, but how is this possible if it continues to rear its head whenever we leave home? Wherever we go, we are continually reminded of these past transgressions or of a period of time in our lives during which we lived a careless life.

If we attempt to turn the corner and walk towards the Lord, then someone will pop up to remind us of some past activity that is not in accordance with our new life and self-image. They may mock us for seeking to shift the blame for our internal flaws onto an external  factor. They may remind us of those times when we mocked the religious for being unthinking sheep who  were unable to take responsibility for their own problems and instead needed to rely  on a mystical world view that had more place in a world of cave dwellers than in a modern society.

Dwelling on the past can become a habit in itself. No matter how painful it is to relive the memories we  frequently seek solace in those times. However, the lens of time has a tendency to distort past events. When we let our memories play on loop in our heads, we may neglect certain details; we can be prone to attribute significance to things which in reality were unrelated.

If we are in a negative place this will tinged our memories. Instead of viewing them objectively and for what they really are, we instead start to blame ourselves. Continually asking the questions: “Did I do something wrong?” “Could I have acted in a way that would have resulted in a different outcome?” It is easy to go through these questions within our mind to live out alternate courses of events. This could even be a useful exercise.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to answer these questions with certainty.  Asking them eventually becomes a self-defeating exercise. We must live in the present and we cannot change what happened in the past. We must though, work on our present so as to walk towards our future, so as to be able to build ourselves a future, instead of remaining tied to our pasts. Whatever did happen took place for a reason, and we must have the good grace to accept this.

Awareness …Part 1

 

Awareness1

What is going on here? Why is this happening to me?

The world is fast when it comes to labeling  you as a victim when something bad happens to you. This is no different from what happens with those who have experienced a bad childhood.

So many people blame their parents for the disappointments and failures of their adult life! However, these same individuals have absolutely no awareness that in reality, their past is invading their present and destroying their future. It is not their parents fault what is happening today in the present, it is their own fault allowing the past to invade and affect their present.

Failure to connect the past with its impact on your negative and unproductive current thoughts and behaviors, results in repeating and expanding the cycle of pain. In an attempt to fix your past and alleviate the hurt and longing, you keep repeating the same bad habits over and over again, to no avail. Then you get frustrated and decide that life does not matter, so, why would you keep trying, right?

Life can seem too vast, and it may seem that one single person has no  chance of making a lasting impact on the world. We think that way and therefore, we accept defeat even before facing the challenge. We fill our days with activities which we tell ourselves that are valuable. We seek comfort in the trinkets and trappings of modern life, picking up things and accumulating a mountain of useless stuff. Stuff that we like to believe that define us and stuff for which we fiercely compete against each other to accumulate.

I remember being in that exact position. I felt ashamed. I felt dirty. I felt damaged. I felt overwhelmed. I felt that God did not want anything to do with me. I felt lonely. I felt used. I did not feel safe. I did not feel loved. The thought that permeated my mind was that I did not deserve to live. How could I ever look at people into their eyes?

All of a sudden, every person I came in  contact with knew that I had done something bad, something terrible, and I felt very embarrassed because of that. I secluded myself as much as possible to avoid this sad experience. I kept thinking the same thoughts and doing the same actions, not believing that I could have made the required choices to change my life and stand up to those negative thoughts at that precise moment…