Tag Archives: spiritual progress

Hey: Pray!

I mean it. You. Now. It only takes a second to send a little healing energy via the deity of your understanding to one of your kids, your spouse, a co-worker who is in trouble, our troops overseas, their families struggling to manage without them, the starving children in the world… take your pick. If you want, you can even move beyond prayer and extend a little mercy in the direction of those who have wronged you, those who have moved against us, those who knowingly and consciously commit evil acts upon others.

Listen, our planet is in a world of hurt, and if you don’t know that, then you really have not been paying attention. Do you think our national leaders are going to get us out of it? As Dr. Phil famously says, a good predictor of the future is looking at our history. Do you think we’re going to be able to mobilize the masses in time to make the drastic changes that are necessary to keep our civilization from going the way of so many that have failed to survive?

I say divine intervention is the only path left open to us, and we better be getting about asking for help in a serious way. Prayer circuits, I’ve been told, begin like game trails, and with more and more traffic, they become cart paths and then roads and streets, and eventually superhighways. We need those superhighways. We need all the help the celestial overseers are able to give us, and we need it now.

So do your part. I’m not asking you to vote, inflate your tires or even change a lightbulb, although we should all be doing those things anyway. Just say a prayer, a small one. Right now. Nobody’s going to know unless you tell them. And maybe you should tell them, and ask them to do it, too.  Maybe do it every morning while you’re brushing your teeth. It’d be more productive than admiring yourself in the mirror.

It’s a small thing. Just as every vote counts, so does every small petition to those on high. Your small request just might be the tipping point that makes the switch from a material citizenry to a spiritual citizenry. You never know.

So do it.

Now. It won’t hurt, I promise.

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Filed under Prayer, Social Consciousness, Spirituality

Letter to a Young Man in Jail

Dear Micah:

I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve gotten yourself in trouble like this. But you know, every day we have the opportunity to make a thousand tiny decisions, and together, those decisions form our future. You’ve made some bad decisions in the past year, and I know you know what decisions I am talking about.

One definition of maturity is the ability to look forward and project yourself into the future. I hope this jail time gives you the opportunity to reflect on past mistakes and make some changes and set some standards for your decision-making process in the future. Every time you make a decision to do the right thing, you’re creating a future Micah who is a wise man, a good husband and father and a good provider for his family. Every time you make a bad decision, you create a future that might include drug addiction, disease, heartbreak, fatherless children and prison.

And these decisions include everything: the way you speak to your parents, the friends you keep, where you live, who you allow into your living space, what you do to pay the rent and whether or not you smoke that dope. It includes what clothes you wear, how you carry yourself, whether or not you look someone in the eye when you talk with them and how firm your handshake is. It includes whether or not you finish your education, or go into the military or get a good job, and all the steps between here and there. Millions of tiny decisions, every moment, every day. Including the ones you’re making right now with every one you encounter—other inmates, the corrections officers, your attorney, everyone.

Life hands each of us some real lemon-sucks some times. Many times we don’t have control over what happens to us, but we always have absolute control over how we react to it.

We all make mistakes. But there comes a time–a pivot point–when we decide who we want to be, how we want to live, and we begin to act in that manner. What follows is a wonderful life, a positive life filled with adventure and sublime reward.  I bet you would hear that same story from almost any person who is living the kind of life you’d like to live some day. They encountered a turning point, and chose to make positive decisions. I hope this is your turning point.

Some time you’ll need to make that tiny decision to start making better decisions. Visualize who you want to be in five years. Ten. Twenty. Choose friends that you can live up to, friends who challenge you to be a better man. Making a break from the old and establishing the new takes courage, but you know we’re all behind you. Now is a good time to make that change. If you don’t do it now, then when?

One good decision that you will never regret is to listen to those who care the most for you. At the top of that list is your mother. She has been through many trials in her life, and has become a strong, competent, wise woman as the result of the thousands of positive decisions she has made in her life. She will never steer you wrong.

Take care of yourself in there, Micah, and never, ever, forget how much we love you.

No matter what.

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Filed under Discipline, Possibilities, relationships, Spirituality

Naming the Year

I spoke with someone yesterday who said that she names her years.  She doesn’t name them Harry or Joe, but with intention and forethought as to how she wants the coming year to proceed.

This ritual began for her one New Year’s Eve as she reflected on a particularly trying time, and she said, “I guess that was the year of struggle.” And then she said, “My next year will be different. It will be a year of…”  And so by naming it, she made it so.

I like this idea a lot. It is like having a concrete goal, a yardstick by which to measure one’s days. Things happen to interfere, of course, but instead of being blown about by the details of the year, we can rally ourselves and bring ourselves back on purpose. 

I have named 2008. I want to see significant progress in one area of my life by the end of the year, and so I have determined that this will be the year that I incorporate that aspect into my daily living.

So now I want to know: If you were to name your personal 2008, what would it be?

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Filed under goals, years