Two Steps Forward – One Step Back

I have written a lot lately regarding my faith and quoted a lot of scripture. I have done a great deal of research and study to accomplish these posts. I do this: A: Because it interests me and I am enjoying my newly found faith. B: Because I am finding being in the Word is helping me become a better disciple. & C: I want to communicate to others who believe they are in dire situations, that it is never to late to let God into your life, regardless of the mess YOU think it may have become.

Today, I am taking a different approach. I am going to write about why I believe when our life starts going well in one area, we feel attacked in other areas. Additionally, I am going to try to do this from a secular approach. Not that I don’t have scripture to support my position, I just want to try to mix this up, so it may be more appealing to the non-believers. Preaching to the choir is easy, spreading His message to the public, that’s not always so well received. So here I go…

I believe that whether you are a believer or non-believer, we can all agree that none of us are perfect. I believe that our lack of perfection is just one of the many failures that facilitates this phenomenon of two steps forward, one step back. In the United States we have created a culture of “Now”. We want everything Now. Our lives, even from a very young age, are being driven by instant gratification and Social Media. I have seen elementary age school children with Smart Phones, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram accounts. Our news media, competes to “scoop” their competition. How many time have you heard “You will only see this video on News 4“? Our society has moved from an era of cooperation and cohesiveness to an era of cut throat competition and one upping each other. You can even see this at a youth sporting event. You can see the loss of vision for the game and sportsmanship, shift to the focus of parents berating umpires and officials for a “bad call” against their child. When this is the example and environment that our children are exposed to, how can we expect them to share and cooperate with each other?

Individuals are so focused on themselves, that they can’t be bothered with the needs or concerns of others. We are so consumed with “Now”, we can’t be bothered by the past or future. When we look at life through these blinders, we only see the issue of the moment, and since the moment (or time) is not a fixture, but a fluid environment, how can we ever be expected to accomplish any one task?

If you are over the age of 40 look back into your life before cell phones, before the internet, before online gaming, before Mp3’s… life was much different. If you can remember those times, you needed the help and support of others much more than you do today. You couldn’t Google the answer for your question, you had to ask others for help. Maybe you had to go to a library and interact with someone for help finding the correct book. You may not have even had a TV, and even if you did, you probably didn’t have more than a few channels. It wasn’t until the late 70’s that Cable TV really got big. In fact, VCR’s were still the only media available for recording or watching movies at home until the late 80’s. During that era, people depended on each other for information, help, guidance, and spiritual issues.

If you are under the age of 40, you still probably remember a time when only the people who were considered to be executives or wealthy had cell phones. If you look back, you can probably recall when people would sit in a restaurant and talk to each other instead of texting on their phones. When if you wanted to go on a date with someone, you had to stand in front of them and ask them if they would like to go out for a meal or movie with you. People interacted and depended on each other.

Before technology made our lives easier (deep sarcasm), we had to depend on others. We were more focused on the “how” then the “now”. Somewhere along the way, as a society, we gave up on the “how”. When we were given the chance, we abandoned each other for ourselves. I believe this is where we lost our way. We chose the technology, or easy way, over relationships. Technology has isolated us from, not only each other, but in many cases, from spirituality. Whether you are a believer or non-believer, you can’t argue that isolation is not good for anyone. Even global society realizes the negative repercussions of isolation, and uses it as a form of extreme punishment for prisoners. Is this the future we want to inflict on ourselves and our children?

If we are willing to do this to ourselves, imagine the way Satan can use isolation. Satan understands that if we are self-dependent, or isolated, we have no need for belief in God. This isolation or no need for God, is simply not true, hell, even Satan believes in God. Even if you don’t think or believe that YOU need God, you must admit that the support of others is important. Even the worst of the worst criminals in society band together in community. What better way for Satan to work himself into our lives than via self-dependence? Self-dependence equates to pride and/or arrogance. Believing so highly in oneself is a sad and lonely existence at the very least. In its greatest manifestation, it will result in an eternal damnation.

As I have been on both sides of this fence, I feel safe discussing this topic. Living a care-free, come what may, self-dependent life, is fun in the moment. I know, I have been there. At some point however, when I looked around and saw who my “friends” were, and what “community” I belonged to, I got scared. Friends only had my back when it was convenient for them, and when they stood to gain from the relationship. Community was only there if there was no fear of judgement for their actions. Outsiders or a “do-gooder” were the freaks who didn’t understand what a good time they were missing. I know some of you reading this can relate to this. Now just for a minute, sit back and look at your life. How often are you taking two steps forward and one step back? If your like I was, quite often. The hole gets deeper and the methods of covering the hole become more drastic and severe. This is Satan manipulating you to believe it is OK to be this way, to be self-dependent. This is the perfect life for those who don’t want to rely or trust others, because they don’t want to feel guilty when they mess up. This is self-induced isolation, and Satan thrives on it. He counts on it, because remember Satan believes in God, and Satan knows you need the help of others, but he doesn’t want you to know that.

Once you come to the realization that being dependent on others, that needing help is really a sign of strength, not weakness, then you can start pushing Satan out of your life. Once you understand that life is not meant for you to go through alone, you will start to see life change. You will start taking four or five steps forward before you stumble. Don’t let me mislead you, you will stumble, but as long as you are pushing Satan out, you won’t go backwards. By realizing only God (AA/NA call Him a “Higher Power”), can save you from that eternal damnation, only then can you truly start moving forward in life.

I guess what I am saying is that it is never to late to turn around. No matter how deep your hole, no matter how dark your past, no matter where you are, it’s not too to. Someone near you understands and love’s you, in spite of yourself. I know I do, and I know God does. Reach out and be strong, ask for help.

Father, I pray tonight that these word fall on receptive ears. That Your light be so bright to someone who reads these words, that they turn away from Satan and towards You. Let the grace and mercy You have shown me, be available to all who will accept it. Only You can save us from ourselves God, and I pray that You continue to forgive my sins, and keep me open to Your will. That I may continue to spread Your message and glorify You in the process.

In your Blessed Son’s Holy Name,

Amen

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