Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

I recently began attending a man class held at a local church. The developing lesson is related to a wound brought upon us as children. This wound, which is most likely given to you by your father, affects you in all aspects of your life even if you are no longer aware that you carry it within you. The premise is that your relationship with your heavenly father is directly related to your relationship with your earthly father. Honestly I have never looked at it that way but it makes perfect sense. If you are hurt, damaged and/or guarded in life because of pain and/or abandonment brought upon you by your father or mother for that matter you are going to be guarded with god as well.

Personal Reflection:

I rarely talk with anyone about my childhood. If I do it is brief and I make light of the details. I don’t openly admit how bad things were and I have spent so many years avoiding and just not thinking about it that now it is almost hard to remember. My memories seem to be more like some old movies I watched years ago. There is no real personal connection to them. The fact is, if I am being honest with myself. There is no real connection to anything in my life. I have gone through life telling myself that I am strong and that my past does not equal my future. Telling myself that I can overcome obstacles that most cannot and then unconsciously throwing myself into the fire just to prove it. When my life would start to unravel in some way or life would deliver a blow that would cause most to grieve I would coke it back and put my head up, burying the wound as deep within as it would go. I would keep moving forward, never looking back, all the while not realizing that my past was collapsing the walls all around me. All I have really been doing is running away staying one step ahead of these walls falling in on top of me and crushing my soul. I have spent most of my life not even realizing that I was leaving a trail of undealt with destruction behind me. I have literally be running from everything including myself. My “wounds” have kept me from being comfortable in my own skin and living my life. My “wounds” have kept me from making a connection on any real level. My “wounds” have been my barrier between myself and my god.

When I Pray:

I didn’t take me long to realize the truth in the lesson. My inability to connect has directly affected my relationship with god. I do talk to god from time to time. I have throughout my life. But if I am being honest with myself even when I close my eyes to pray I never really commit and I am definitely not connecting. The realization, the look in the mirror, is both settling and unsettling all in the same moment. There is a certain peace in knowing that god is laying out the path that I must walk before me but I am in no way looking forward to the journey. I know that in the end I will emerge better for it but I am well aware of the demons that lay in wait.

To be continued…

God was a priority in my grandmother’s life. She went to church every chance she had.  When I would stay with my grandparents I would go with her.  Church is what we shared together; I was a grandpa’s boy the rest of my visit.

I was scared at an early age and I don’t think that even as a child I connected with church and god on a real level.   I went more than anything to share it with my grandmother and of course the ice cream cone that came after.  I did how ever get a moral foundation that later in life kept me from straying too far over to the dark side.

Although I have tried to talk with god throughout the years, as an adult I have not given church much time or consideration.  It simply hasn’t been a part of my life or my home.  I would feel god’s presence in my life from time to time.  Almost like a tug or a pull but I would fight on only giving it a passing thought.

One random day my son at the age of 7 (now 8) asked my wife and I the simple question “who is Jesus?”   It stopped me in my tracks.  Regardless of my doubts and struggles with religion, it was a part of my life.  At least I had the choice to accept god or not.  I had failed to give my boys that same choice.

Since that day my wife and I have made efforts to include god in our boy’s lives. We have recently signed them up for the second season of basket ball with a local church.  It is a great program called “Upward”. We have also even begun attending church.  I first started going simply because I felt it was a good example for my sons to see their father go.  I really didn’t go for me.  It honestly wasn’t until we had attended several churches off and on for almost a year that god grabbed a bit of my attention.

The message was from Genesis and it was about the limp and the blessing. The speaker spoke about Jacob wrestling with an unnamed figure throughout the night.  Even after being injured Jacob would not let go without the man’s blessing.

Here is a little of how the story goes:

At nightfall, Jacob sends his wives and children across the ford in the Jabbok River with all their possessions, ready for an early start in the morning. But he stays behind, as the Scripture records,

“So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.”

Somehow, Jacob recognizes that this is no human assailant. This is a divine messenger who has the power to bless him. Jacob and the “man” are locked in combat, but are at an impasse. Neither can overcome the other, but neither wants to release his grip for fear that the other will take advantage of the moment. The “man” injures Jacob’s hip, but still he holds on. The “man” finally says:

“Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

Jacob is tenacious and persistent:

“I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

Unless the “man” will speak words of peace and blessing to him, Jacob will not release him.

“What is your name?”

“Jacob,”

“Your name will no longer be Jacob [meaning supplanter’], but Israel [meaning he struggles with God’], because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome”

The speaker went on to talk about how Jacob walked away from that battle with a blessing and a limp. That message hit me right between the eyes. Now I know that ever message affects each person differently and each message is interpreted differently be each listener. For me it was as if the message was aimed directly at me. I have been wrestling with god and my relationship with god my entire life. I realized in that moment that not only was I wrestling with god, that it was ok for me to wrestle with god, that I had to wrestle with god so that I could truly understand his purpose in my life. In that moment I understood that if I truly allowed this battle to happen that at some point I would come out of it with a blessing and a limp and a new life. I guess recognizing my life does need god is the first step. Truly allowing him in is the next.