For many years I've listened to what others believe, and never had come to any real deep convictions about what I personally thought and believed. In fact, I was trapped in the land of "What will other people think" for much of my life. That kept me trom reaching outside of the "norm" and also kept me from thinking deeply about anything or saying anything about what was inside me. I was too concerned about being accepted. And yet, even with that, I never felt accepted. for much of my life I've felt like an outsider, never really fitting in, wanting to be accepted, but never feeling accepted. However, over the last 20 plus years I have went through some intense trials and had to rethink much of what I thought that I believed.
When I'm serving others, then I'm using all the stuff around me and thereby connecting with those things, and the environment, in a much deeper and richer way than just sitting around and looking at stuff, and being served.
Doing one's best and give the best service is a rich and exciting way to live. That means never being satisfied with just doing stuff the same old way, just enough to get by. Giving one's best is living our best life now. It means that our mind is ever active, looking how to do things better and better.
This article was prompted by my wife recently going back to work. With that came a need for a second car, which we just acquired. That second car is ten years old, but it is much newer than our year 2000 car. Now, who would get the "new" car. Of course, that selfish little kid who lives inside of me said, "Me! My car!" But I quickly put that little bugger back to sleep (although it never really sleeps. But I don't need to listen to it.) So, as I checked over and cleaned the car to give it to her, the beginnings of this article began to form in my mind.
One thing that I love about my being a self employed tradesman is that I can talk to my clients about meaningful and authentic topics. However, I do choose carefully who I will begin an authentic conversation with.
For many years I have felt like I've been muzzled in church. I did not feel the freedom to speak of what I was really thinking, feeling, and believing. I did not feel that it was acceptable (by the church staff and members) to just be real.
I have been searching for many years for a church where I could be real, where I could be accepted for who I am, and where I could openly express my thoughts and ideas and questions about religion and life. At times I have been so discouraged, thinking that I was alone, so different and so strange.