It was a beautiful summer day in 2007. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I were visiting her son and his wife. They own a small house in a rural town about twenty minutes away. It was to be a short visit, just to drop off a paint sprayer we bought for them. They were in the process of painting their house and this was sort of our way of getting out of helping—by purchasing them a nice paint sprayer (at least that’s the way my selfish brain saw it). I had visions of spending the rest of the afternoon lounging by our pool doing nothing. It was going to be great.
tr.v., -lat·ed, -lat·ing, -lates.
1. To strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation: an older pupil whose accomplishments and style I emulated.
I once had a psychiatrist tell me, “Jared, find someone successful you admire and do what they do.” My inner voice said, “You’re full of crap lady. I’m unique, I’m going to do great things. I don’t know anyone who is going to be as successful as me.”
I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one’s heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know.
photo credit: karenwithak
During the summer of 1989, just out of High School, I spent three weeks in the USSR. The above picture is a note my mother hid in my luggage that I found while on the trip
March 12, 2006 was the darkest among many dark days for me. Later it would be defined as the catalyst that led to my shift or sometimes referred to as a moment of clarity.
It was the day I left behind my perception of the world and my place in it. After a failed marriage, a job I resented, and a friend who had recently passed away, I was depressed and overwhelmed with life. From a loft apartment in downtown Kansas City I would make my final stand. With money in the bank and a liquor store three blocks away, I was in heaven, and hell. This is how I remember those last few days.
I work with computers. I like things that make sense, most of the time. As a kid, I was always taking things apart—clocks, radios, you name it—to discover what made them tick. As for God? Whatever… show me an angel and then maybe I’ll believe in something. Show me footprints in the clay where Jesus walked and I’ll consider the possibility that a great man, a model of humanity, once walked the earth.
When it was first suggested almost three years ago that I get on my knees and pray every morning, I was desperate enough to try anything, so I did. I was told simply to pray for others and was given a few simple prayers to get me going. One I still use today is:
“God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will Always!” [Read more…]