Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Healthy Mind, Body and Soul Journey 3-28-12

Did you know I'm special?  That I am one in a million?  Actually not just one in a million, more like on in a quadrillion or some other unfathomable number way up there in the stratosphere. I don't say that as a boast, but as a simple fact that I believe.  I believe I am the only ME ever created by a loving God who made me, and every other individual ever born, ever to be born, uniquely and individually-- with a purpose for each created person.

I was raised 'in the Church' as they say. As a child of Christian parents, I never really questioned my faith in God; It was always simply part of me, just like my arms and legs was a part of me, serving a vital function in my life. I was baptized at age seven. I knew what I was doing - accepting Jesus, as it is called in Christian circles. I poured my whole, childish heart into loving Jesus that day. I have felt his presence, as well as that of the Holy Spirit, my whole life, since that day in April 1972.

 Admittedly, there were peaks and valleys in my faith during the ensuing years, but I always felt the pull of God, as if I were tethered to a string, and if I ventured out too far, He would pull me back in, letting me know I was His; always His.

Fast-forward from the time of baptism, to adulthood. I still remember the day when an epiphanic (light bulb moment) thought occurred to me. A revelation of the mind that almost brought me to my knees.  Even though I knew I was God's child and I had a relationship with him that was growing and thriving, this exact thought had never occurred to me: Even if I were only person ever born, Jesus still would have come here ( I guess to Texas instead of Judea?) and died just for me. I believe that's how deep is his love for me, me the individual, not me the Christian, just me, plain and unvarnished.

 What an overwhelming thought that is. The responsibilities that I have as a Christian took on a new meaning for me that day. I knew I couldn't just rest on my own virtues any more - I had to cast His light out into the world.

I understand that some people view Christianity as a delusion, something people made up to make themselves feel better. Perhaps, I too would have believed that way as well, had it not been for my faith as a young child. There are so many points to ponder in the Bible, some that don't seem to make a lot of realistic sense. It seems unfathomable that some of the things recorded in His word actually happened.
 
I praise God every day that he occupied my heart when I was a child. It allowed me to have the faith of a child and grow into adulthood with my faith intact. I count that as a blessing.

Throughout my life, and along my journey of faith. He has brought to the fore different facets of himself for me to explore. God allowed me to question Him. I believe he has no problem with people questioning him. Questioning is a natural part of the relationship we create with God.  We are thinking beings, after all.. We all have trouble, at one time or another, with something that becomes a sticking point.  That's okay with God.  He rejoices when we challenge him and ourselves along with the process.

God meets each of his children were they are and takes them to a place where He wants them. Each journey is  unique and individual, just as each of his children are unique and individual. He empowers us all to be exactly who we were created to be.

I will never be unrecognizable to my God because He is my creator and I am His creation. Now that I have been created, it is my job to see what God wants me to do with my life.

 It is my constant aspiration to make him proud, just like any child wishes to please their parents. This healthy mind, body and spirit journey I have been on for the past five weeks has clarified some things for me.  I am learning so much about what He expects of me, about my self worth, and about how to reach out to others in times of need.

I know that this journey will not end on April 8, 2012 any more than it did 40 years ago the day I was baptized.  I will continue to learn, grow, have set backs, and hopefully realize his purpose for my life at some point.

To be a Christian isn't about being baptized, attending church or any sort of dogmatic liturgy.  It is about a life.  Two lives, actually, that of Jesus, and that of the person he came to save.  I am forever grateful to be the second person in this equation and it makes me ever mindful of not wasting this life, this precious gift I've been given.  

I don't want to waste my gift of life on negativity, self-loathing or misery.  Jesus didn't make his sacrifice, for me, to use my only chance at life on those things.

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 
~Psalm 100:1-3

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PS:  Weighed in at the doctor's office yesterday - total weight loss in 5 weeks - 10 lbs.  Life is a journey.  A process really never ends.