Discover your spiritual life

Lately I have been forced to reflect on my life and to take notice of some of the events that have guided me to this point.

When I reflect back over my life, I generally see my life as a spiritual journey. Some people look back over their lives and see their lives from other perspectives. Some see their lives from the perspective of achievements or failures or material success or material failure. Some can proudly give gratitude for having raised a successful family, yet others will nearly be brought to tears for remembering years of hardship, broken marriages, failure to financially succeed or even loss of identity.

From the perspective I take, these past impressions mean little unless they are interwoven into a spiritual understanding.

When I reflect back over my life, I remember the spiritual turning points more than actual events.

I remember my first religious experience. At the age of nine, I remember visiting a religious grotto in a garden attached to a convent. I went there occasionally after school because I found peace and tranquility. I hated school in those days and the religious nuns were extremely tough teachers. They scared me, and their demeanor caused me to be drawn to a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, which was located in this convent grotto. So at the age of 9, I remember visiting this grotto and kneeling there praying to Mary, asking for help. I felt understood by Mary. I felt comforted and loved. The irony of this situation amazes me. The religious nuns were sent from Ireland to educate catholic children and to teach them about God’s love yet it was through their demeanor that I was drawn to God, quite by accident.

This was my first religious experience. It has stayed with me over the years and has formed the basis of my earliest understanding. I started being drawn to God. From that time onwards I was hoping and trusting that my problems would be taken care of.

Over the years I have drifted in and out of trusting God with my problems. There were many years where trust was non existent on my side. Yet this took a turn for the better when I discovered a little book called ‘Prison to Praise’ by Merlin Carothers.

It was in September of 1983 that I walked into a religious book store in the city of Melbourne. There on the book shelf was this little book called ‘Prison to Praise’. For some reason, I picked it up, looked it over and was interested enough to buy it. I bought that book, read it, and was captivated by it.

I applied what I leanrt from Merlin Carothers and almostly immediately experienced changes in my life. That book came into my life at a time when I was facing a lot of insecurity. My life was about to change and I was so preoccupied and scared. I feared for the future, yet when I applied what Merlin Carothers taught, amazing things started to happen. The pathway became clearer. Things happened around me and I became more courageous.

Years passed since I first read that book and I added to it by purchasing other books by the same author. He always captivated me with his simplistic understanding of how to live life. Praise was the basis for change. Praise was the vehicle which gave me the momentum to leave worry at the front door. These thoughts never left me yet there were times when I slipped into faithlessness and became distracted by the thoughts of modern society. For many years to follow, I was distracted from the truths that I had originally discovered, until eventually through desperation, I picked up that little book one morning in the hope of revisiting that energy that I once knew of. The morning that I chose to pick up that little book once again was the 7th September 2013.

On that day when I picked are that book, there was an old membership card sitting in it. The card had my wife’s photo on it. It was a yearly membership card to a local amuzement theme park. On it was the date 7th September 1998. I was totally amazed. What were the chances of me picking up that book exactly 15 years later to the date? Wow. I was blown away. I knew right there and then that I was being called by God to believe every word that Merlin Carothers preached. God was giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity to believe and this was it. There was no turning my back on this one. It was time to believe.

I marvelled at my discovering, and I reflected back to the time that I first discovered that little book, back in September of 1983. It suddenly hit me that September 1983 was 15 years earlier than 1998. OMG were the only words that I could come up with. Wow! Thirty years earlier, God had guided me into a book store to discover a book that was to become the basis of my spirituality.

I was left with no doubt that God was guiding me to accept some home truths. I do not need to work things out anymore. God will provide answers and directions. I do not need worry anymore. God knows my concerns and will answer them. I do not need feel disadvantaged in any way. God will give me everything that I need. And finally, life will never be the same again.

Truly, God has chosen me to believe. I have no doubt now. I believe in the most unbelievable of situations, God is working behind the scenes. And God is! I have been blessed, and I thank God for everything in my life – the good, the bad and the ugly. Once we praise God for everything in our life, God goes to work to make better of our situation and the situations of others.

So if you find yourself lost or searching for meaning, start by simply praising God for everything in your life. Do it without failure. Practice it daily. Do it even when it feels ridiculous. Do it when you feel insecure. Do it when fears are present. Do it without hesitation. Believe that this simple action is your invitation in prayer to invite God into your life and to work with you and with others to bring about a life that you are meant to live.

God loves us so intensely. God knows our concerns and God will not disappoint. All we need do is show gratitude.