When I look back on my childhood, taking the time to evaluate my life, or maybe I should say the areas that I wrapped my arms around and embraced and those that I didn’t, it brings great joy and in some cases a level of sadness. Turning the clock back to my childhood, growing up on the farm during the 50’s and 60’s with little spare cash, just enough to get by with and sometimes not even that much, I had a good life that taught me more than I ever gave it credit for.
Graduating High School in 1968 while the Viet Nam war was in full swing, seeing many of my friends serving there and returning home not the same person, some in a box, some missing limbs, but mostly changed personalities due to the effects of the war, was a difficult time.
Getting married at age nineteen, building our first house at age twenty, becoming a father at age twenty-one, were huge steps in life for me.
The foundation learned as a youth growing up was never lost, only forgotten for many years. Saddened by so much I had witnessed as a youth and my mid-teenage years in the religious arena, set my life path in motion. Determination set in, a drive to enjoy life, to become financially sound, to take a stand against all that didn’t fit into my version of faith, all began while still in high school.
Working my way up the ranks of my first job, I worked hard. I took on two jobs in those early years trying to earn what I felt was required to be a good provider. Then becoming licensed in the electrical trade and eventually starting our own company my life was very busy. Between work, family and fun, I had my hands full. Then my eyes were opened to the rest of the world when I took a new job in 1986. Being able to travel to many parts of the world, I began to see and feel the effects that war really has. To be close to war, hearing how others dealt with war both old and new, grasping the many religious faiths and beliefs including those that have no belief in God, it kicked in motion my past and the emotions caused me to re-evaluate my understandings of life.
So what does this mean in the grander scheme of things? It shows that from childhood on, our lives and personalities are set in a direction and become altered as we continue to age, grasping new information, learning about others we cross paths with. The real question is; do we allow ourselves the freedom to open our mind and explore what we see and hear? Or do we remain set in our ways determined not to allow change? Do we even recognize that we are closed to anything that may disrupt our desires and beliefs in life?
For me, I spent the time to re-evaluate my past, examine what I had learned and experienced, and to wrap my arms around what I believe this life is all about. I worked hard to eliminate the mental blocks that so often accompanies our attempt to truly understand, disabling any rational outcome. What I found was that I could make a decision for myself, placing my faith in what I had come to understand. While it was influenced by many, it was in the end, my choice, my decision, my beliefs.
So there’s this lingering question
When was the time you slowed down long enough, shoved the distraction aside, threw out the external influences of those that educate with an agenda whether religious or non-religious or educational and dug deep enough that you allowed yourself the freedom to choose where you have placed your faith?
One of the biggest things I learned along this adventure is that it takes faith to believe in life, it takes faith to believe what it is all about. It takes faith to believe in God or to not believe in God. It takes faith to believe in the direction we choose for our lives.
Where is your faith placed?