Do you question your belief? Do you wonder if other people question theirs?
Follow me on my Journey Of Belief.
Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know where I am coming from, because this website has to do with believers in God and my belief in helping them prosper.
Everyone’s belief is their own. You may believe in multiple different iterations of whatever the Power is that resides in the heavens. I happen to believe in One.
I don’t profess to have the handle on who He is yet or what you should believe about Him (or Her, or It).
I only know that in the last few years I have gone through a transition in my own path.
Let’s start with my dad, who I called “Pop”, I grew up in a family that was part of the church, my dad taught Sunday school, was a local police officer, and we lived happily ever after in a little town in the middle of Missouri…
Until that little item of my health caused us to have to move to Colorado about the time I turned ten years old.
We never really got involved in a church after that, but we were nevertheless “believers”.
Throughout life, I had other interests in such scientific things as astronomy and paleontology, even working for an aerospace company responsible for a whole pantheon of satellites orbiting other planets.
I kept God in the back of my mind, praying every once in a while when it was convenient to me or I needed something, like food or a roof over my head, and all was mildly amenable.
Then along about the mid “80s I started having a better understanding of what it means to be my own person.
That took an effort on my part to go around the entity that was my mother, including distancing myself from her, and to truly learning who my dad was.
During this time, I also realized that I had a different view of death that so many religious people have, and that it truly is a release from this life.
It’s a beginning of eternal life if you believe in Him.
And if you don’t believe in Him, that life should still be celebrated as they had left their mark on this earth, and had exited the stage.
My attitude was why go through such mourning for the dead, we should be celebrating them!
They are free of this struggle we call everyday life! Then that fateful day came in 1993 when my dad’s earthly body ceased to support life.
I had a tremendous love and respect for him, and to see that his suffering was over was actually a joy.
Now, you have to understand who my dad was, one of those people who never met a stranger.
Everyone loved him, he was a legend in his own time, he was the John Wayne of normal people, even had that air about him that the screen persona of John Wayne had.
True to my belief, I was relieved that he no longer suffered and had gone on with great dignity.
After his death I slowly moved away from my belief in an all powerful being.
I could tell my dad was still around, once in a while directing me when I needed it, and definitely guiding me through life.
When Pop’s earthly belongings had been distributed, of course some people got more than what I thought they deserved, others got much less than they deserved, and when all was said and done what was left were a bunch of coffee cans full of bolts that he had collected.
Anyone who has a mechanical ability ends up collecting this junk, never to be thrown out, to be dug through and used when you need a piece of hardware.
Because you know, even though you’ve had it for 10 years, as soon as you dump something, you’re off to the hardware store to buy another one!
So those 1000s of little pieces of hardware, nuts, bolts, springs, screws, washers, and what have you, were all left in the coffee cans, no one was willing to claim them.
Except for me.
On one of the few trips I took back to Missouri to see my mother, she said there was a bunch of junk that was my dad’s that she was getting ready to dump.
There they were, looking all lonely and dejected, those coffee cans of bolts.
Number one, Pop loved his coffee, and those were cans he’d drank, with that aroma still in them.
And when I opened them up, there was the very essence of who my dad was. I could smell the cigarette smoke, the coffee he drank, the gun oil, the WD-40, the fresh cut wood, and all the smells that were uniquely his.
They even had his blocked off style of handwriting on the lids, letting the searcher know what each can contained.
The writing was instantly recognizable by the squared off way he had printed his whole life, whether it was a note to my teacher, or printing those paychecks from my early employed life working for him.
And I could tell he was happy that I had finally inherited them, because I was ecstatic.
No one else on the planet had any idea what treasure those cans of bolts were.
It was like a walk through time with him.
There was hardware from different years of his life, from old cars he’d owned to the bolts that the deck was held together with when it was destroyed by an act of God (softball-sized hail) in the late ’70s.
I can just picture him painstakingly removing the rusted nuts and washers from the rusted bolts, one by one, dropping them in their respective cans.
So through all those years after my dad’s death I came to realize that the concept of God in my mind, had died with my dad, and even though he wasn’t there in the physical, every time I needed something out of those cans, Dad would be there working with me.
I realized he had taken the place of God. I am not one to be hypocritical, so when most of my friends who were religious, would be relating something religious, I’d be honest with them and tell them, I didn’t believe in an all-powerful being.
And I had the reputation of someone who lives his life striving to be honest, trustworthy, spiritual, and respectful, even though everyone knew where I stood with respect to an all-powerful being.
The joke was, if we were near a church, stay away from me because you could get hit by lightning.
I was living that life in honor of my dad because that’s who I thought he was.
During this time my mother could never find her place after Dad died.
Her health was deteriorating slowly over the 25 years my dad had been gone, we weren’t sure to what capacity because minor issues were blown out of proportion with her and major ones were relegated to one little sentence at the bottom of a long conversation with her.
God called on me, the unbeliever.
Finally, in July 2018, her body had given out, she was being sustained by the medical community and God called on me, the unbeliever, to go do his bidding.
I knew my mother wasn’t doing good, it was time to go see her, so I took a little trip to Missouri and went to see her.
I had four days to visit. My brother pulled me aside and said he was glad I was there, everyone had been waiting and had been expecting me sooner, somehow he knew why I was there even if I had no clue.
So, I asked her why she was holding on.
When for 25 years she had yearned to go be with my dad.
I told her God had been calling for her.
And finally, the last day before my trip was over, she was scheduled for yet another blood transfusion that would not only never make her feel better, but wouldn’t even sustain the miserable way she was feeling where she was.
They were just prolonging the agony.
We went into the transfusion area where there were multiple chairs for people who come in regularly for the same types of situations, eerily like an assembly line.
My aunt and I were allowed to talk to the doctor, dapper younger guy with a nice shirt, nice tie, and with the look of George Hamilton.
Instead of him listening to our request to stop this nonsense, he explained he could keep her going like this for at least another six months to a year.
We both could tell he didn’t hear a word we had said and furthermore, he didn’t care.
Fortunately, Mom’s fluid level was already low enough they could not find a vein to perform the transfusion, so they wanted to schedule a procedure to put a port in her chest so they could give her one.
They would schedule for the following Monday, and with a little anesthesia, everything was going to be great.
They even had a time slot ready.
We left, took her home and got her settled back into her room at the long term care facility.
Then was when God said, “Don’t give up, try a little harder.”
I do not know where the words came from, or where the courage to open my mouth to let them out came from, I was the unbeliever, remember?
“God didn’t give you a sign, he gave you a whole BILLBOARD!”
I asked her if she had prayed about this, what had God told her. She said she’d prayed all night about this and had gotten no answer.
God wouldn’t answer her.
And I said, “Mom, God didn’t give you a sign he gave you a whole BILLBOARD! What you just went through, he’s telling you it’s time to come home. He’s telling you Dad is up there waiting for you.”
And the message hit home.
At that moment she realized what I had been saying to her for the last three days, had come right out of the sky. Her attitude changed.
That afternoon, one more doctor visit sealed it.
He asked her why she was still trying to avoid the fact that she was in the end stages of life, it would never be better, whatever they did would only prolong her death.
He said she needed to go back to the long term care center, he would order hospice care and she should let nature take its course.
He said it was never going to get better, in fact, she would deteriorate from there.
My task was complete.
I had several close relatives tell me, everyone knew what needed to be done, but no one else would have taken the courage to tell her what I had told her.
No one else would do what I had done.
All I did was the bidding of the one Being I had denied, whether I believed in Him or not. She lasted another few weeks, had the absolute best time of her life because everyone from around the country came in to tell her goodbye.
They celebrated her life BEFORE she was gone. Several relatives told me she had confided in them, totally accepting her decision and was actually excited about it.
“God doesn’t care if you go to church, God doesn’t care if you don’t believe, He will use you for whatever he needs when he needs you. “
In the end, I knew God had paid me back for doing his bidding by giving her those last few wonderful weeks.
During that four days, my uncle who had been a strong believer his whole life and knew where I was with my belief, had told me, “God doesn’t care if you go to church, God doesn’t care if you don’t believe, He will use you for whatever he needs, when he needs you. ”
The end of the story but not the journey.
Months later, I was once again, slacking on the Belief-O-Meter, kinda wondering if I had imagined what had taken place.
As usual, I was second-guessing what He had taken me through and the lessons I’d learned, wondering if somehow I was being arrogant in my attitude that He had actually guided me.
I was at the local Catholic church, which I was never a member of, at a Christmas craft show with Carol, my better half, where they had raffle tickets.
I bought two, wrote my name on one and stuck it in the box for a bag of chocolate-covered pretzels, as my mouth watered at the thought of winning it.
The other one, I wrote my wife Carol’s, name on, and way back in the back of all the prizes available, I stuck it in the box for the grand prize.
I love her to pieces, if she won that, I knew she would be overjoyed.
The end of the day came, I gathered some of her bags up to take to the truck and while I was out, they distributed the prizes.
They walked over to deliver a small prize to the person in the booth next to my wife and she asked them if I had won anything, to which they replied, no, but a Carol M. had won something!
She had won the GRAND PRIZE!
They said there were over 1100 tickets in the bag for that prize.
When I arrived back from the truck she was crying and laughing because the grand prize was a professionally framed picture of…
The Last Supper…
Her unbeliever husband had walked into a church, put HER name on an extremely religious and sought after symbol of faith and she had WON it.
We both stood there with mouths open.
How can I deny Him now?
I didn’t get a sign, I got hit over the head with The Last Supper!
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We truly believe He is behind us in this effort.
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