I wish I could write a love story, or a drama, or something that made people laugh. My failure to do so is not from lack of trying. I’ve begun the process on several occasions, only to find the story turning to the dark side shortly after beginning.
Darkness is all I see when I look into my mind for a story to tell. When I have a point that I am trying to make it is always easiest to filter it through a terrible lens. I suppose its the same thing with comedians.
I have tried, so very hard, to give up the terrible tales that I tell. I even wrote a post about it called From Horror To Hope. I was being honest then, and I’m being honest now — I was a fool to think I could give it up and, even more importantly, that I SHOULD give it up.
The point of giving up horror was to write for God. The narrative that’s been constructed for us is that there is a certain and particular way to go about that. That narrative is wrong. A thing does not need to have the words ‘God’ or ‘spiritual’ scrawled upon it to be of a Godly or spiritual nature. It is the intent of the thing decides its place in the universe, not the thing itself.
Everything I write — even the darkest of tales — is an attempt at finding the light in the darkness. Sometimes it is so faint you can barely see it, but trust me, it’s there.
I stopped going to church as soon as I was old enough to make that decision on my own.Back then I had questions (as most children do) about God and our church (as most churches are) was a place of instruction—not a place to ask questions.
Too Hell With You
At one point in my life, I was convinced that my mother believed that I was destined to go to hell because I did not go to church. If I am being honest I still think she believes that. I don’t judge her for it—That is the way she was programmed. I am, however, at peace with the fact that I cannot change her mind one way or the other. It used to bother me to no end. I used to try to explain my deep relationship with God to her in hopes that she would stop worrying and looking at me the way she does every Saturday when she asks me if I will be going to church Sunday. It does not bother me at all now—that is her cross to bear, not mine.
Bullshit, and All That Jazz
The heart of this website lies in those lost, and lonely, moments I spent feeling like God did not love me because I was not like everyone else who was sitting in those pews every Sunday. It’s bullshit—plain and simple. I have known many good people that have spent their entire lives shunning God because they have been constantly told that God shuns them. I have also known many good people who have treated others atrociously because they did not fit their programmed opinion of who God approves of.
A Change Is Gonna Come
Here’s the truth: I (and others) will never be approved of by organized religion. That does not matter anymore. The masses are—slowly, but surely—waking up. They are realizing that it is not what you do one day a week in front of others (that believe the same things you do), but rather what you do every day of the week FOR everyone else that matters.
One of the harder concepts for me to come to grips with has always been the ‘fear of God’. The arrogance of my youth created anger and rejection in my heart whenever I was told that I should do so. I suppose it’s a natural reaction as a young person to believe (or to want to believe) that there is nothing to fear from your creator. It is a confusing message as well when an adult tells you that God loves you, but you should fear him.
Whether intentional or not there is a lack of clarification on these two, seemingly, opposite attributes of God. How and why would the entity that created us and loves us expect us to fear it?
Wrong Kind Of Fear?
From birth, we are conditioned to believe that fear is a negative emotion. We are taught to fear things that are bad for us. First, we fear the boogyman and the hot stove. Then we fear the bully in the schoolyard and the stranger on the street. When we are grown we fear the IRS and the next election. It is no wonder that someone saying that we should fear God illicit’s a negative response? That is all we know and there is rarely any further explanation.
When there is clarification it is usually structured as a form of control—fear the punishment for doing the wrong thing. This lack of clarification and abuse of messaging leads to the wrong kind of fear.
Right Kind Of Fear?
So what is the right kind of fear?
Imagine you are standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Now take a moment to think about what really lies before you—A true wonder of the world we live in. Think about the sheer size of the space, and the fact that the same space was once filled with the dense earth you are currently standing on. Think about the forces that joined together to create the wonder you are looking at—erosion, pressure, wind, water—and the time it took to make it all happen.
Now step right up to the edge and look down. That feeling you have as you gaze into the abyss—that it could swallow you whole and no one would ever know—is the right kind of fear. It is self-preservation, awareness of scale, and awe of immensity all wrapped up in one breathtaking moment. You do not fear it because it means you harm. You fear it because you could be harmed by it if you are not mindful of each step you take. There are a million ways to die inside of it because the physical danger is everywhere. There are also a million ways to live because the spiritual pleasures are just as plentiful.
All of these physical dangers and spiritual pleasures exist together in this space with no intent (either for good or for ill) towards you. They just are. It is up to you to guard yourself against what could hurt you and seek out what could help.
In other words, the right kind of fear is a positive force to guide you. It protects you from the pitfalls and the predators. It steadies your step. It keeps you safely on the path in an environment that is beyond your human capacity to either understand or control.
The Fear Of God — Understanding & Acceptance
Understanding this concept (in this way) was the key to freeing my heart. It allowed me to let go of my anger at the notion itself. My fear of God guides me daily. It strengthens my resolve whenever life starts to beat me down. I fear nothing but God. Everything else is either a negative to be avoided or a positive to be embraced.
I was lost for a long time before I made the decision to ask God into my life. I always believed in God, but never knew how to connect to God’s light. I have a somewhat complicated relationship with the church and organized religion in general. I allowed these complications to become obstacles in my relationship with God. One day I ditched the dogma and simply asked wholeheartedly for God’s help.
Of course, there is more to the story than simply asking God into my life. There was so much (good and bad) happening around me when I finally broke down. There are two things in retrospect that are important to know about my decision. They are relevant to you if you are considering doing the same.
Thing #1 – The Decision
There is a huge difference between going through the motions that have been programmed into you since the day you were born (church, communion, meditation, confession, etc.) and making a conscious decision to open your heart and invite God into your life. The former is reactive and the latter is proactive. That distinction makes all the difference.
As you begin to study different systems of thought and make your way along your spiritual path you will find that intent is the key to every form of progress. Your intent interacts with the world around you to facilitate all the tools and situations you will need for growth along the way.
Like most people, I had asked God for help countless times in my life up until that point. The problem was that it was always in the moment and born of a desire for self-preservation. There was no intent behind the request(s)—just knee-jerk reactiveness to whatever situation was confronting me at the moment.
This time was different though. It was deliberate and full of intent. I took a moment to clear all other thoughts from my mind, closed my eyes, and asked God to come into my life.
Thing #2 – The Consequences
God is always there. It does not matter who you are, what your beliefs are, or where the world places you on its sliding scale of good and evil. Saints, sinners, priests, and pedophiles—God is there for them all.
The funny thing is that the previous statement is anathema to both atheists and secular believers alike. The atheist scoffs at the idea of God. The secular believer scoffs at the idea of God being there for anyone who does not share their secular belief. It does not matter—God is there for both the scoffer and the scoffed.
But there is an important difference between being ‘there for’ and being ‘with’. The moment you make the decision—and go through with—asking God into your life ‘there for’ becomes ‘with’ and everything changes! If you have honestly and wholeheartedly asked the question the answer is immediate, definite, and unalterable—God is now with you and leading the way!
The consequence—and the blessing—is that you will never be alone again. You will now begin to understand yourself as a part of the whole and that can be a scary (or downright undesirable) notion for a self-involved human being. There will be no more hiding from yourself. The little white lies that used to get you through the day will now point out the unlimited amount of things you’ve been doing wrong all this time. Please do not misunderstand—I am not trying to dissuade you from making this decision. I just want you to understand that there is no going back.
Faith is what comes next. Relax, breath, and let God be your guide. Tools and situations will be provided to guide you along the path. You will begin to notice ‘spiritual waypoints’. They might come in the form of life events, harsh words from a friend, kind words from an enemy, or even stumbling upon a website like this. The further you travel, the more it will makes sense—good luck and God Bless!
3 Ways Driving For Uber & Lyft Can Benefit You Spiritually
First up in the ‘Two Sides To Every Story’ series is a list of 3 ways driving for Uber & Lyft can benefit you spiritually. I have personally been driving for both companies for over three years now. I’ll tell you why and how I began doing so in the upcoming post about the material benefits. The following spiritual benefits have presented themselves repeatedly over the last three years. They form the crux of the amazing spiritual lottery I find myself in every time I turn on the app to drive for Uber or Lyft.
#1 – The Right Conversation At The Right Time
This one never ceases to amaze me and seems to happen at least twice a week or more. When you open yourself spiritually, invite God into your life, and operate in complete faith that Gods guidance will see you through everything, opportunities for guidance abound. This manifests itself when I pick up a passenger who has undoubtedlybeen sent to me with a message that I needed to hear.
The situation is never subtle—always specific. The passenger always initiates the conversation. It seems completely out of the blue and has nothing whatsoever to do with the current situation (ie destination, weather, pick up location, etc). It has everything to do with some abstract spiritual notion I had been meditating upon in the days or weeks leading up to this particular ride. I have had some of the most fantastic and inspirational conversations of my life with total strangers sitting in the back seat of my car! Quantum physics, Kabbalah, and the similarities between the two—I have had that conversation. It’s one example of a conversation that had no place happening on a 30 minute Uber ride—but did!
#2 – Opportunites To Help Others Abound
I learned one very important universal truth when I opened myself spiritually—helping others is the key to every good thing in this life. I don’t mean helping when the opportunity presents itself but seeking out—even asking for—occasions upon which I can have a positive effect on someone other than myself.
Driving for Uber & Lyft is the perfect vehicle (pun intended) for putting myself in that position as often as possible. 2 things make this so:
Driving around for hours on end will have the effect of bringing you into contact with others who need help. Whether it is a passenger in need of an ear to listen or a car with a flat on the side of the road—there is never a shortage of people in need.
My schedule is exactly that—MY schedule. I work when I want, and can turn the app off at any time with no consequence except the potential for missed income. If a passenger needs to talk for a bit after the ride has concluded I can listen. If there is something I can do for them above and beyond the ride itself, I have the freedom to do so. I am not bound by time or location. helping someone on the side of the road is a simple matter of turning the app off and doing the right thing.
#3 – Getting Lost To Find Out Where You Are
This is the most abstract of the 3 ways that driving for Uber & Lyft can benefit you spiritually. Did you ever have a moment where the only way to keep it all together was to leave and wander the streets of your neighborhood for a bit? Maybe you were arguing with a loved one and the only way to avoid saying something that would change life forever was to walk out the door? Or the ho and hum of the everyday material world was too much and you needed to get in the car and drive?
The very nature of driving for Uber & Lyft puts you in that freeing state of not knowing where you will be next the moment you turn on the app. Every time the app beeps your possibilities expand. You have no idea who you are about to pick up, and no clue about where their journey will take you. For some—those bound by the material need to control their situation—this can be stressful. If you are mindful of the fact that the possibilities are endless—and opportunities are what you make of them—every set of rides can be a wondrous spiritual adventure.
Driving for Uber & Lyft has its downsides to be sure. Every job does. The upsides outweigh the down though—especially if you are considering the spiritual benefits as well as the material. Relax. Seize every opportunity to help, to grow, and to experience the limitless possibilities that present themselves when you put yourself out there.
If you are interested in driving for either service please consider clicking the links below. They are my referral links and I get paid (one of the many benefits I will cover in the upcoming post regarding the material benefits of driving for Uber & Lyft) for every driver that signs up through them.