Rev. Mark England
The Spiritual Journey
I remember my first spiritual experience in my life when I was a child, but it took many years and several adverse circumstances to enter the realm of spirituality I enjoy today.
I was five years old when my Grandmother Hattie died of cancer. After the funeral we all went back to our house to mend our broken hearts sharing stories, and partaking in the food and drink. After a while all the company had left for home, and it was time for us children to retire for the night.
I went to my room confused about the days events. My Dad followed me into my bedroom . He was concerned as to how I was handling all that had transpired throughout the ordeal, and tried his best to comfort me with a pat on the head. We sat silent on my bed for several minutes with his big hand rubbing my back, and looking at the night through the window in my room. The sky was dark and clear with millions of stars shining brightly.
My Dad was not a religious man, but did have a sense of a higher being…God?
I always pictured God sitting in the biggest wooden chair ever seen with all of his angels around him.
My Dad stated," pick a star in the sky and say a prayer to it, then Grammy will hear you and will know that you loved her." He also said that I should ask God to" let her into heaven," because she had been a fine mother and grandmother. With his paternal part completed, he left the room to leave me to do what was instructed.
The first thing I did was recall an exercise that the Sunday school teacher had taught us about Jesus on the cross. She had us hold our hands out to our sides for as long as we could to show how much pain that Jesus may have gone through for us. For some reason I held my arms out like she had instructed us in school, and closed my eyes. I'm not sure how much time had passed, but my arms were tired. I then picked out the star, and got on my knees and said, " God, please take care of my Grammy, because I love her. Will you please take her to heaven with you. Amen!"
A feeling of great peace fell over me, and I knew that my prayers would be answered.
I never had another experience like that for many years to come, but I sure searched for it, in all the wrong places. It was not until I was thirty six years old that I was able to re-connect with God, and use him to manage my life on a daily basis. After battling Alcohol and drug addition for many years, I got sober through a gift of desperation , Then, a kidney transplant, multiple bone surgeries, contracted Hepatitis C from multiple transfusions, and living life on free will all caught up to me at once. I was empty with no self worth, but saw a little hope through a caring friend...God!
The classes on spiritualism has enlighten my perception in the spiritual concept, explaining the patterns of spirituality played out in different times, for different people, and the evolution individuals and cultures have experienced. The spiritual life is not a theory, but has to be lived to become a valid and functional benefit of the believer. An abstract concept that creates possibilities through faith, love, and an open mind.
Some individuals become spiritual through forbidden avenues, learning lessons the hard way. Spirituality may not get you to heaven alone, but will let you out of hell. Thank you for the enlightenment.
Rev. Mark England
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