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Learning To Forgive

Monday, July 11, 2011

I usually do my Sparking early in the morning. I have the house to myself, itís quiet and Iím in no big hurry. Yesterday morning as I huddled with one of my teams I noticed a blog title over to the left side of the page. It was titled ďLouise Hay: Forgive But Not Condone; Can It Work?Ē I read it. It was good. I was not convinced and as I told myself at the time, it gave me a lot to think about and really, seriously, do you think I wanted a lot to think about at 6 AM on a Sunday morning? I donít think so!

It hit a tender spot, a spot I didnít want to deal with. Iíve been very angry with the Catholic Church for a long, long time. I cannot in any way, shape or form condone the actions of an organization that lies and protects people who use their authority to molest children. Not only is it wrong, itís criminal. Six months ago a young man in our parish committed suicide in front of the church because he had been abused by two priest most of his life. Neither priest was at our parish. The hierarchy promised an investigation into the matter. That was in February. To date there is no news. Joan and I decided that we would continue to attend church weekly but would not contribute to the Church. We just increased our contributions to other charities. I enjoy going to church. It gives me an oasis of peace. I can sit, pray and sing and lose myself. What I didnít need to read was a blog on forgiveness, twenty minutes before I went to church!!!

Iíve come to realize that health, real health, is so much more than what goes into your mouth, or how quickly you can sprint or cycle. Real health is a balance, it is the fine art of learning to let go, to find reasons TO forgive and not hate. It hates the sin, not the sinner. It knows deep down inside of you that if John wants to GET healthy and STAY healthy, well John needs to deal with his issues. Iíve been really angry for a long time. That anger has slowly eaten away at my soul.

I got to Mass five minutes before it started. I slid into the back pew. Next to me was a young lady with a toddler. The little girl came over to me and smiled and waved and did what little kids do in church. Her mom looked wore out. She also looked like she was in need. Her clothes were worn and ripped in a few places and so were her daughters. If you have ever seen a look of despair on a personís face, well this young lady had it on hers. When it came time to take up the collection I did what I always do, I stare straight ahead. I wonít lie. The blog Iíd read sort of tugged at my heart and mind. If I really believed in the Gospel message, the message of love and forgiveness, then wasnít I simply exercising some self-satisfying form of control by not contributing? I didnít want to think about this.

The usher handed the basket to the young lady and at the same time her daughter ran to where I was sitting. As I looked up I saw her mom digging in her purse. She pulled out a dollar bill and about five coins. She put them in the basket and handed it to me. I just stared. As I handed the basket to the usher I started to shake a bit and then I covered my face so no one would see me cry. At that moment I saw all the things I was holding on to, the entire place in my heart and soul that was filled with unhealthy hatred, anger and judgment and not one of those things was doing anything to make me a better John. You see, I have all that anger because I know the things I direct it at I canít control and rather than concentrating on the things I can control, well, Iíd rather focus on the negative. Jesus told the story of the widow who gave her last dime to her church and he said this woman had so much more faith than someone who gave for what they had left over. She gave from her necessity. When that young woman dug into her purse and pulled out the dollar or so, I saw no hesitation, no doubt, just a tremendous amount of faith. She could have justified giving nothing, like me, but her actions spoke the knowledge that she would be taken care of and provided for. I spent the rest of Mass looking at the areas of my life I attempted to engineer and manipulate. I saw all the things I wasted energy on and where I needed to let go. Letting go of the things I cling to so tightly isnít easy. Between me, you and the rest of the universe, it scared me half to death.

Itís really not negotiable, at least not for me. If I want to live a balanced life then I have to clean out my closets and fill them with positive things. Iíll never condone what has happened in the church but I can forgive and when I do, Iím making ah healthy statement about my life. No revelations today, no really happy endings, just the knowledge I have a lot of work to do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 7/13/2011 3:38PM

    God does work in mysterious ways...first Louise Hay's words and then sitting next to the woman and child. Synchronicity in action.

I'm grateful I do not have to pick just one sparkfriend's blog to read, but if I did it would be yours.

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GIRANIMAL 7/12/2011 10:51PM

    Wow. Powerful stuff. Forgiving without condoning is quite a difficult spiritual lesson indeed. As always, I am proud of and inspired by you, your honesty and your unwavering strength and need to build a better John.

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SPARKLISE 7/12/2011 9:49AM

    I have been a catholic most of my life,but 5 years ago we started going to a pentacostal church. Best decision of my life. If you want to get closer to God,maybe catholic is not the best option. Just saying!
God bless you. emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 7/11/2011 11:43PM

    WooHoo...go John....
that is awesome....God is so good...and he will only show us things when He knows we are in a place to deal with them....
You are so right with the sinner Hate the sin...thats a philosophy my Hubby and I live by/.....

The start of a whole new journey.....

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BECKY3774 7/11/2011 7:28PM

    Thank you, John, for once again saying what needs to be said. I personally hold on to things that need to be let go, but I have such a hard time with it. I'm struggling daily to improve that while improving my body, so hopefully one day, I can be the me that I deserve to be. emoticon emoticon

and I totally believe the previous statement from a spark member about God having a sense of humor....I see little things like that all the time that make me stop and think...amazing, isn't it?

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SHERRYJVP 7/11/2011 5:43PM

    Our sermon Sunday was on the widow's mite. Very itneresting. It is such a shame that a few bad people bring a reputation on an entire denomination. I am not Catholic, but I know that we worship the same God and that no human is perfect. I also believe that the devil causes this kind of grief in church in order to weaken and tear them apart.

God Bless you as you deal with this conflict.

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MIZZSB 7/11/2011 2:48PM

    very touching blog John!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/11/2011 1:37PM

    I have struggled with the whole priest thing and have been angry too. How could the "face" of the church be worth saving more so than our children? I too have some work to do on this topic.

I love God's sense of humor. I love how he worked it out so you sat by that particular lady and her little girl. He can always teach us lessons, even when we're (meaning me) pretty hard headed students.


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SUSANSERENE 7/11/2011 10:29AM

    Definitely an "ah-ha" moment for you, John, but congratulations for opening your eyes and your heart to see what you may have been meant to see...a divine message, perhaps? :)

You're so right about health being emotional and spiritual as well as physical. I love the way you put that and it's certainly food for thought for me, as well.

God bless you for sharing. emoticon

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AKATUJE 7/11/2011 8:57AM

    Food for thought.... I know i also got alot of work to do...

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BLACKROSE_222 7/11/2011 8:47AM

    Wow... what a story. Thanks for sharing.

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KATHRYN1955 7/11/2011 8:39AM

    It would be easier just to read this and skip along to getting the rest of my points for the day. I am not Catholic, but the way they protect their own has been a sore point for me for a long time. It also spreads to other denominations and religions as well. There are 2 levels of forgiveness here, one for the actual perpetrators and one for those who cover up for them. I'm not sure which one is harder to forgive. One needs to separate out spiritual faith and the faith in the organization itself.
Personally, I could not hold both (Anglican) at the same time and I have turned to a more holistic, universal faith in God.
Good luck in your journey, it is a tough one to reconcile.

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TERRIPAL1 7/11/2011 8:32AM

    Amazing isn't it John how you can always learn something!!

Thanks for the blog,what you wrote is so true,and difficult to do!! emoticon

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CIVIAV 7/11/2011 8:29AM

    Sounds like going to church did what it is supposed to least how I see it...

Thanks for sharing this John!
Love you!

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SHAKENMA 7/11/2011 8:25AM

    Thought provoking...........

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Using My Talent's

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How much time do I spend focusing on using my talent to make this a better place to live?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 7/17/2011 1:29PM

    Oh my...alright, I'll dig up my talents.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/10/2011 7:40PM

    Absolutely brilliant as always....
Love the way you looked at that parable and loved the challenge even more....

Thankyou so have so much wisdom.....

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NAMAARI 7/10/2011 7:28PM

    Your last comments reminds me of this passage...

Matthew 6

25 ďTherefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ĎWhat shall we eat?í or ĎWhat shall we drink?í or ĎWhat shall we wear?í
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

God wants our focus to be Him, to be living a life full of love and truth, and that would include caring for our bodies, our life, which is a gift, but also investing in others, helping, loving, giving, doing whatever we can to shine love. Thanks for such a good reminder to spend our lives on the things that matter and watch our investment of our talents, our love, grow. Blessings, friend.

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MIZZSB 7/10/2011 4:50PM

    WOW this is heavy John.. thanks for sharing...
And my treasure is my health, and for today i have to say NO...
but tomorrow is another day...

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CMA444 7/10/2011 10:20AM

    Awesome! That is one of my favorite parables! Thank you for putting it into a new light!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 7/10/2011 10:19AM

    John, another excellent blog! You also gave me something to think about and work on each day. It is true that we will find balance in our lives when we concentrate outwardly on others and how WE can make a difference in the little world around us, rather than on ourselves. But it is true that we need to be able to care for ourselves in order to accomplish that. Our bodies are Temples and we need to treat it with reverence. It houses our SPIRIT, which is what makes each of us unique, and able to carry out God's plan for us here on earth. Thank you for starting my Sunday morning on a high note.

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SPARKENISTA 7/10/2011 10:12AM


This is a universal tale and, as usual, very inspirational. There is a lot to think about here.



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HDHAWK 7/10/2011 9:29AM

    You give of yourself regularly here on Spark. Your talent to put into words what many of us are thinking helps me immensely. I hope you realize that!

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TERRIPAL1 7/10/2011 9:12AM

    Well done John!! You gave me something to think about again!! emoticon


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_AIYANNA_ 7/10/2011 9:10AM

    I couldn't agree with you more, John. We often complain about how we live in a selfish world and there's no community spirit left any more. Still, very seldom do we stand back and consider what WE have done or offered to make this world a better place.

Thank you for giving me something to work on :)

Take care,
Elen xxx

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The Philosophy of My Flower Bed

Friday, July 08, 2011

We have a long narrow flower bed that wraps around one corner of our privacy fence. For whatever reason, every weed known to man has decided to root in it. Yesterday morning I decided it was time to clear the bed out, once and for all.

I pulled the old flowers out; a quick tug at their base neatly removed them. Then came the weeds. I have a lot of strength in my arms but after five minutes of tugging and almost falling face first into the dirt I went to the garage looking for some garden tools. They worked on about eighty percent of the weeds. There were still these long tendrils of grass snaking past the border stones and I swear were actively resisting me as I pulled, dug and mildly cursed them. This meant war.

I removed all the border stones and stacked them in a wheel barrow. I went in the house and put on my work boots, the ones with the steel toes. Itís eighty degrees outside, Iím sweating my face, arms and legs are streaked with dirt and Joan is giving me one of those ďOh Lord, what are you doing nowĒ looks. I grabbed a spade from the garage and dug down deep in the flower bed. I suspect I had somewhat of a maniacal grin on my face believing I had out witted those snickering weeds once and for all. I chopped the dirt up and sifted through it yanking out the remaining weeds. I found the rake and smoothed the soil. Everything was neat and symmetrical. I was as proud as proud could be. I asked Joan to come see. She stood there for a minute or so and said ďOkay, what are you planning on putting in there?Ē

ďWell thatís not the point. All the weeds are gone.Ē

ďI know John but so is everything else. What are we going to put in there?Ē

Okay so maybe she was right. But, as I told her much later in the day, I had time to reflect on how my life is like that flower bed. So very often I let those marvelous flowers that are my talents and treasures become over run and crowded out by my own fears and doubts about my abilities. After a while all I see are the weeds and slowly my talents, the REAL John, get starved out. My doubts rob all the oxygen and sunlight and I lose sight of my goals!!! In other words Iím a mess.

Spark people and you my dear wonderful friends are those garden tools that ferret out the weeds and provide me the fertile soil to grow and make the life style changes that are necessary for the real John to flourish and reach his goals and dreams. Once cleared away, all those bad habits allow the sunlight of success to shine on my life.
Down deep are the things Iíd never seen, noticed or believed before. They were hidden by everything else. Those weeds, those tough tendrils of grass, hang on tight and fight my forward progress. They require a lot of perseverance and stamina and I have to dig deep. Itís often painful when you realize you are the real root of all your issues. When all is said and done there is new fertile soil for John to grow Itís mucho hard work!!!

I grinned proudly!

ďThatís nice John, but you still havenít told me what we are planting.Ē

And so goís the philosophy of my flower bed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLISE 7/10/2011 8:51PM

    It takes you to see yourself in a garden! emoticon emoticon

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 7/10/2011 10:23AM

    Another excellent blog, John! You certainly are a wonderful garden tool for me! You help me to focus and grow, looking at all of life from a beautiful perspective. So glad you are my friend and mentor!

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COUCHDIVA333 7/9/2011 10:43PM

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 7/9/2011 2:49PM

    so?what are you planting? flowers or vegetables? emoticon
emoticon emoticon kori

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GRAMLORI 7/9/2011 10:09AM

    "Everything was neat and symmetrical."

Do I detect a somewhat anal personality there? lol That's ok, so am I! If I'm a garden tool, then I must be the shovel....I have someone stepping on me and shoving me into the dirt, but I hit rock everytime!! Getting it from both sides!! lol

Enjoy your season of planting!!

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GEEMAWEST 7/8/2011 10:49PM

    I have given my DH that ďOh Lord, what are you doing nowĒ look many times.

When you think about pulling up all your "weeds" just remember that weeds to one person are flowers to another. It's all in how you look at them.

Hugs, G-Ma

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HDHAWK 7/8/2011 10:17PM

    Cool John! You never cease to amaze me!

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SANDYJAS 7/8/2011 9:54PM

    Beautiful thought

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CARTOONB 7/8/2011 8:56PM

    LOL! I like Joan!

BTW...if we're your garden tools, can I be the hoe? emoticon

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SRHALLIN 7/8/2011 8:35PM

    Such an excellent story! And so applicable to the lives of others as well. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

And, congratulations on clearing out your flower bed. :)

Best wishes to you on your journey!

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LYNMEINDERS 7/8/2011 8:00PM

    Again a fabulous thought provoking blog.....
So true that we forget about the flowers/talents we have and focus too much on the "weeds" in our lives....
Thankyou for the thought provoking...
Much appreciated

Comment edited on: 7/8/2011 8:00:35 PM

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    You have me feeling like I need to get outside and get busy. LOL. Some of those tap roots are as tall as me. LOL.

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WALKAWAY 7/8/2011 2:24PM

    Love this blog. Reminds me that I just have to dig deep and get all the "trash" out of the way to see who I am, what I can become.

Just remember to stop, smell the flowers and LOL occasionally hack the heck out of the pesky weeds.

emoticon emoticon

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RONDAJONES 7/8/2011 2:08PM

    I just LOVE how you have this supernatural talent to show me gently how our lives are somewhat parallel. Keep writing...because I keep reading!! Oh, and thank you! I sooooo need to work on my weeds!

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SILLYHP1953 7/8/2011 1:22PM

    This must be why I almost enjoy weeding. I enjoy planting and tending better, but I do enjoy weeding. I enjoy the transformation, the accomplishment. Crabgrass is my nemesis, it's probably the same one you were talking about with those running roots. It sounds like you got quite a workout, too. So...what are you planting?
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/8/2011 1:00PM

    What a coincidence! I was doing weeding in my flower beds on the 4th and had similar reflections on my own life while I was sweating my way through them. We have to dig deep to pull out the toughest weeds (both literally and in our lives) to make room for new things as well as give the existing beauty room to grow. Let the weeds go too long and everything good is crowded out by them--and it becomes much harder to pull them up because they are rooted so firmly. Have a good weekend, and go plant something beautiful!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RACINGSLUG 7/8/2011 12:42PM

    Your flower bed is very wise, indeed. ;) I'm so glad we are here helping each other pull out those weeds. emoticon

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JANC7223 7/8/2011 12:08PM

    What a great analogy.

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MARTELLA3 7/8/2011 11:15AM

    I am so glad that you referred to the "real John" as the one who has all the talents and treasures. That other John that fears and doubts, even though in the past he has served a purpose, you do not need anymore.

Grow on! emoticon


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GIRANIMAL 7/8/2011 10:44AM

    I love Joan! emoticon

Why, oh why, is it so much easier to focus on the "dark side" -- the fears and our so-called negative traits -- than it is to see our "good sides"?

Great analogy, John! I love your ability to extrapolate your everyday activities into representations of your personality and tendencies. I hope you clearly see the growing, flourishing, beautiful you in those new flowers you're going to plant for Joan. emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/8/2011 10:41AM

    LOL I just love Joan.

I too have lots of grass in the flower bed of my life. Habits that I'm struggling to rip out but have not quite accomplished it yet. I haven't given up.

I love you blogs! Have a great weekend!


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Finding The Promised Land

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt on a forty year journey to the Promised Land. I found out recently that entire journey, the one that took over forty years to complete should have only taken three month by foot. Instead, Moses, the rock star of the Old Testament led a group of people around in circles for over forty years. They were lost. You have no idea how relieved I felt inside when I read that article. A month from today, Iíll have been wondering around looking for my own Promised Land for fifty eight years.

Where is your Promised Land and who lives there? When Moses left Egypt it was to escape tyranny and oppression. All that quickly changed when there was no food and water. People grumbled and complained and on more than one occasion Moses role as leader of this motley crew were in jeopardy. All of a sudden those mean old Egyptians werenít so bad. At least they had a full belly three times a day. So Moses had to detour and find food and water. Moses persevered and I think his faith, that eventually heíd complete his mission had solely to do with trust.

God picked Moses to lead this mission. He told him he was capable and competent. Moses trusted what he saw and felt. If you read the book of Exodus youíll see he made more than one mistake and had more than one false start along the way. He was applauded and reviled sometimes all on the same day. He kept moving forward. Sometimes moving forward meant looking over a hill or around a blind corner and Moses simply had to trust his feelings, his gut and his instincts. He believed he was doing the right thing.

How many times do we find ourselves searching for that Promised Land of health only to have the people around us second guess, ridicule or even make jokes about us? I have struggled the last few months. I have gained about fifteen pounds. Thatís all on me, no excuses. What startled me were the people who wisely nodded their heads and told me they knew I could never keep the weight off. (You think they would have had the courtesy to talk behind my back!!!) Joan told me to focus on what Iíd done, get back on track and not to worry. I did and do, LOL.

I think of Moses often. I think of him wandering through the hot desert and hearing all the criticism drift up towards him as he tried to figure a way home for his people. He got side tracked, he got lost, but he never gave up. I wonít either. It took forty years for him to get there and during that time I am sure he learned a lot about life and himself.

No matter who questions your motivation your abilities or your worth and desire, firmly put your hand on your own staff of life, trust your instincts and one day, maybe today, just over the next small rise is your Promised Land.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORSI2000 7/9/2011 1:50PM

    Joan is a hoot! Why don't you keep her after all! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 7/7/2011 11:07PM

    I've said it before -- it's not a race! And it's really not even about the goal, but the journey. (Awesome - that was like 3 cliches in one! LOL)

But, as I recently heard Wayne Dyer say, we cling to those cliches because there is such resonant truth in them. 40 years or 40 minutes -- does it really matter in the end?

You've lost way more than 15 pounds and can lick it again - and then some. As for the people I-told-you-soing, someone I respect recently pointed out to me that our success makes other people have to look hard at themselves, and they get nasty when they feel threatened. Jealous, in a sense. So listen to that brilliant, beautiful wife of yours!

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TERRIPAL1 7/7/2011 12:24PM

    Well said !! Hope we all find it together emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 7/7/2011 10:11AM

    Today is my one year spark anniversary and I've wandered around a lot during this past year. Not exactly lost, cause I knew the right way, I just wasn't going in that direction. I have managed to keep 10 pounds off, and they will stay off, but I had lost more than 10 this year. Thanks for this blog and your interpretation of Moses' helped.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/6/2011 7:37PM

    This story is an awesome depiction of our journey with weight loss....
I ran a program for 7 years....(thats before I forgot the principles and put my weight back on) it was something i got out of America called the Weighdown Workshop.....Exodus out of Egypy....
It's really amazing what Scripture says about food and eating....
Love this story.. so relevant to our journey

Comment edited on: 7/6/2011 7:37:55 PM

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MIZZSB 7/6/2011 2:39PM

    John great to read you are getting (slowly) back on track.. you can do this.
And Joan is a awesome lady!!!

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MARCYNA 7/6/2011 1:21PM

    Great parallel, thanks for sharing!!!
In the end they made it, whatever the lenght of the effort and I think in the same way we are to lead our people -sparkers, friends, family- to their own Holy Land emoticon

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KKINNEA 7/6/2011 11:39AM

    Great comparison.

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GRAMLORI 7/6/2011 11:06AM

    Kinda reminds me of the little kitten picture that seems to be smiling with its little eyes closed as the caption reads:

"Lord, if you can't make me thin, at least make my friends fat!"

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PGNBRI 7/6/2011 10:44AM


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SPARKLISE 7/6/2011 10:41AM

    Another great blog. Gotta tell ya,i feel like i'm in a desert right now and i can't see the end. emoticon
But, if it took Moses 40 years,maybe i can be patient a little longer. emoticon

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HDHAWK 7/6/2011 10:34AM

    I think our friends are relieved when we gain the weight back. It makes them feel better. I'm on track to lose the weight again. I can't count how many of my friends told me I'd gotten too thin when I lost the weight the first time. Jealousy? Hey, they can put in the work it takes and do it too. Keep on keeping on John!

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RUN4FOOD 7/6/2011 10:30AM

    Thanks for sharing this story and building it around the life of Moses and God's people. We all need God's guidance. Sometimes people can be a real pain. Most people can and will be very helpful if you ask. Just like you put your thoughts into this blog and all of these people responded with their love. I've learned to look to God for support first and then to others who love me, often in spite of myself and often when I don't feel I deserve any love. God and God through others can lead the way for us.
Great blog.

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    Most successful dieters do have a blip on their screen from time to time or, to put it your way, they get lost in the desert. But they do find their way back out and you will as well. You can't always be perfect. There is no perfect. You will fail sometimes and what will make you successful is not allowing failure to become an ingrained habit. It's a lifelong journey and even when you think you have arrived you have to work to stay out of the desert.

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C55R55 7/6/2011 10:04AM

  Interestingly enough, despite the uncertainties or possibilities, or what seems an impossibility, Moses maintained his close relationship with God. In our stillness, meditation or prayer, etc., we can connect in the same way and the voice guides our path, which is at the center of our core. We too are directed as Moses was by that voice. This story is a great reminder to listen, be assured and courageous on the journey to the promised land. Great inspirational Bible story!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/6/2011 9:56AM

    I love Moses's story. Always have. I loved that even though he didn't believe in himself, God did and that was enough to make Moses at least attempt the goal.

People shock and amaze me nearly every day. I cannot imagine how you handled someone saying that to you. The funny thing is, that healthy, so called normal people gain and lose weight all the time. My problem was that I kept gaining and gaining and didn't attempt to lose any of it to balance out my life. You will do fine. God (and I) believe in you. You know what to do and you know when and how to do it. Enjoy the journey John, it's our best part.


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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/6/2011 9:49AM

    The thing is, Moses led them to the promised land, but never entered himself. Oops, just read that WORKINGSTIFF wrote the same thing.
If his goal was to lead his people out of Egypt and to the promised land, he was a success, whether he actually made it himself or not. I guess this is another case of it being about the journey.

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KATHRYN1955 7/6/2011 9:42AM

    I think that "Promised Land" has always been deep inside of us, we just have to peel away the layers (emotionally and physically, and in that order). Any so-called setbacks are actually life lessons that we are meant to learn. And they will keep appearing in various forms until we finally "get it."
Take care,
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CMA444 7/6/2011 9:34AM

    I can so relate to this! How awesome you put it out for everyone to read! Don't listen to those who don't have faith in you. Especially yourself. When you tell yourself you can't do it, believe that you can. Know you can. Pray to God for his guidance and he will give it to you.


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NASFKAB 7/6/2011 9:23AM


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WORKINGSTIFF 7/6/2011 9:20AM

    The thing about Moses was that he never really entered "the promised land." He got so far, but never actually crossed the river into the land promised to his people. Ironic.

But that is the thing about our journey. We look for "the promised land" that everyone seeks, but in actuality, like Moses, we can get there anyway.

I believe Moses went to heaven after he died, which is the ultimate promised land. We can also achieve that which we as individuals may not be the same as the guy next to us, but we can find it.

It's in the mind of the individual to find the goal. Our OWN goal-not someone else's.

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Oh My Gosh, I'm Walking On Water

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

One of my favorite Bible passages has to do with the apostle Peter walking on water or shall I say failing to walk on water. The story goes that after a long day of preaching, teaching and answering questions, Jesus went off by himself to pray and the apostles went out in the boat to fish. A storm comes up and Jesus heads back to the boat. The problem is the boat is in the middle of the lake. Jesus starts to walk on the water towards the boat. To use todayís vernacular the apostles freaked out. I can quite imagine the conversation in that boat. ďDo you think itís him?í ďI dunno you know him better than I do!Ē

Peter is my favorite apostl because we are so much alike. We are both people pleasers, over achievers and quite often engage our mouths and actions long before our brains have had time to mull things over. Anytime something needed to be done Peter would push his way to the front of the group and boldly say he could do it, would do it and BTW: would you like fries with that burger. Bearing all that in mind Peter comes up with a game plan of sorts. He yells out, ďHey if youíre REALLY Jesus youíll let me walk on water also!!Ē

Peter stands up and gets out of the boat and begins walking on water. ďHey it is you!Ē I can quite imagine, given what we know about Peterís personality, that he was styling and profiling, until the wind kicks up, it rains a bit harder and it dawns on Peter ďOh my gosh, Iím walking on water!!!Ē Realizing he is eons out of his comfort zone he starts to sink. If not for Jesus bailing him out Peter might be simply a soggy foot note in Bible history. Jesus tells Peter if he had faith he could have walked on water. He didnít yell, scream or berate. He didnít talk about everlasting salvation and the like. He told Peter if he believed he could do it.

Does any of this sound familiar? It does to me. Just about the time I racking up a string of successes in my life, this small voice reminds me that I am doing things Iíd never, ever dreamed of doing before and then asks me if I really think I belong sitting at the cool kids lunch table? Thatís when I start feeling the water on my ankles and calves. Can you say ďglub, glub?Ē Completely and totally out of my comfort zone, I give up and go back to the mediocrity I know and love so well.

When I sit down and think about it I find that itís in every aspect of my life. When I start becoming healthy and toned and actually resemble something other than a Rogaine add with frosty the snow man, I freak. Thatís not me!!! I do not belong here!!! Glub, glub. I once ran five miles, all at once, just a few months ago. Iíve never run that far again!!! Too far out of my comfort zone to do it again. Thatís not ME.

Every time I get close to being a complete and total success I suddenly realize ďOH MY GOSH, IíM WALKING ON WATER!!Ē The remedy is faith, faith in me and in my abilities. The saying goes that you canít help a drowning person who is struggling. The more I fight the notion that my Creator created me to be a complete and total success, the more comfortable Iíll be the next time I walk on water, or at least the puddle in my drive way.

I am worth it. I deserve it. I am what I believe I am, and I am who I hang around with, arenít I?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMDARLENE 7/10/2011 12:12AM


Your writing is fantastic!! You've said this so well. I'm almost ready to walk on water too!!

Thanks so much! Darlene

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GAL7288 7/7/2011 4:28PM

    That was really an inpiration to me, I often convince or let others convince myself that I can't even when I know I can. But it's an eye opener when you see it this way.

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SILLYHP1953 7/7/2011 10:19AM

    Well, well, well...I have a better understanding now of why I self-sabotage. You have such a succinct (haven't used that word for a while, had to use spell check) and entertaining way of explaining concepts.

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REJ7777 7/7/2011 6:28AM

    Great blog! emoticon

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DAD2GETFIT 7/6/2011 10:00PM

    Walk on! emoticon

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MARTELLA3 7/6/2011 10:17AM

    It makes a big difference whose voice we listen to. Do we listen to the Good Shepherd, Who only wants our good, or the father of lies who wants to kill steal and destroy us? I regret to report that I frequently listen to the lies.

Thank you John for your thoughts. It has been a needed catalyst for me.


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AKATUJE 7/6/2011 10:10AM

    Blogs like this remind me why i like you so much, you are an older male version of me!!! Every time i read your blogs i see me in them. And you say it in ways i can only dream of thinking....... emoticon

Thank you for sharing!!!

p.s. Peter is my absolute favorite disciple. He shares the #1 spot overall with David.

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WALKIETALKIE 7/6/2011 3:01AM

    Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt. Glub glub. emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/5/2011 11:08PM

    Yay! Keep on walking!

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LYNMEINDERS 7/5/2011 11:05PM can certainly walk on water......we just need to believe and we can do anything

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KIKOOMAGOO 7/5/2011 6:46PM

    So many times I have gotten close to doing something and allow doubt to derail me. I feel like this time I have enough faith in me to walk on water right beside you and all my sparkbuddies. I'm not allowing others or myself to put doubt in my path.

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GIRANIMAL 7/5/2011 6:04PM

    Louise Hay or Abraham or somebody has used examples of people getting what they want and then continually exclaiming, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe it!" until it evaporated from whence it came -- and then they would say things like, "See? I knew it was too good to be true!"

Belief is so much in life. Yes, this DOES sound familiar! I make an effort to correct my "I can't believe it" thinking as soon as possible these days and hope that it's quick enough! emoticon

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TERRIPAL1 7/5/2011 5:44PM

    Nice blog !! You are so right ,that goes for everything you do!! We are all so special & if we don't stop to think about it we'll eventually figure it out!! emoticon

Keep walking on water John & I'll try it soon too!!

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ANATASHIKI 7/5/2011 4:48PM

    so delete your old you , rewrite an update : ) . walk on water? I want to fly , i want to teleport !forget about that "me" you used to know. think you wake up with amnesia one day and reinvent yourself!

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JUNEAU2010 7/5/2011 4:14PM

    emoticon you inspired me!

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PGNBRI 7/5/2011 12:00PM

    Oh my goodness! I had this same thought process this weekend! How it seems that every time I notice how well I'm doing and how much I've accomplished all it seems to achieve is causing me to fall. I kept thinking that if I could just keep from noticing how well I'm doing, I could do anything! LOL.

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C55R55 7/5/2011 11:43AM

  Got to love that Peter! Beliefs can be self sabatoging! You're doing great with the reshaping and retraining of those beliefs. Just like Jesus tried to teach Peter, over and over, you always belonged at the cool kids lunch table ;) Thanks for the reminder John!

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/5/2011 11:24AM

    Excellent and also I got quite a chuckly on "ďOH MY GOSH, IíM WALKING ON WATER", I sure have been there

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WALKNLOVE 7/5/2011 11:14AM


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MIZZSB 7/5/2011 10:54AM

    you are not alone in this one,i am there many times...

Have faith in yourself! You are worth this!

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RACINGSLUG 7/5/2011 10:53AM

    Peter was always my favorite apostle too. So desperate to please and yet so insecure about his own abilities. I can relate to your feeling here... It's hard not to retreat into mediocrity out of pure anxiety. Recently with my therapist and my coaches at the Center for Progressive Leadership we've been working on just this thing... living the life you want to live despite the fear or anxiety or whatever unpleasant feeling held you back before. The truth is, some negative feelings are going to be there no matter what - we can let them limit us or we can let them teach us how to respond with vitality and grace. It's a terrifying and exhilarating feeling, realizing the only thing holding us back is ourselves.

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SKHENDRIX 7/5/2011 10:47AM

    Thank you!

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JECKIE 7/5/2011 10:25AM

    Definitely not alone! I actually said aloud yesterday "Oh my God I'm graduating in 8 weeks!" in a completely freaked out, what-do-I-do-now tone. It's scary! And the only way I hold it together fitness-wise is to realize I'm doing this with all the folks from this site. My friends keep me going because my faith in myself alone is not strong enough.

We'll reach out a hand when the water starts lapping!

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JSPIN74 7/5/2011 10:22AM

    Your not alone with these feelings & reactions...this is so me too (a lot of us I suspect;)

...thx for putting it out there for solidarities sake as weel as your own.

We are cool kids & we can walk on water.

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NASFKAB 7/5/2011 10:19AM

  Thanks great thoughtful blog

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GRAMLORI 7/5/2011 10:13AM

    And if we would just reach up for the hand of Jesus, we wouldn't have to say "glub glub" at all, would we! He always has a lot more confidence in us than we do. As a popular Christian song says, "Give me Your eyes, Lord". Not only to see others, but to see the beauty God sees in ourselves as well!

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DEE797 7/5/2011 10:12AM

    What a great blog and it comes at a good time for me, cause I've been struggling lately. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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SAMDJS 7/5/2011 10:06AM

    A big part of our success in life - whatever we set out to do - is our attitude. And you definitely put our attitudes into perspective here.

I needed this...thanks!

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KATHRYN1955 7/5/2011 9:12AM

    This reminds me so much of that quote By Marianne Williamson. I have included it below and as I reread it, I know that I, too, am afraid of walking on water. The only consolation is that rather than going back to the beginning each time, that I am very slowly moving ahead, in a much zigzag fashion!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesnít serve the world. Thereís nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people wonít feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. Itís not just in some of us; itís in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As weíre liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
By Marianne Williamson

Keep the faith,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TIME4AFITME 7/5/2011 9:03AM

    I love this blog! Thank you so needed it!

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HDHAWK 7/5/2011 8:57AM

    I love this blog John! It really hits home.

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