Friends, Life, Living Loved, Religion

Learning to live loved.

Whenever I see yet another blog (especially one that talks about God) I ask myself a few questions: What is the point? Is this just another self-absorbed idiot pontificating about himself, or even worse, a preachy, hypocritical, judgmental, condescending and two-faced person. These people, no matter the religion, all share something in common, self-righteousness. If we’re honest, we all have a bit of this in us, but with these type of people, it’s amplified. We hesitate to talk about faith because we don’t want to be associated with them. Preachy self-righteousness isn’t just a turn off; it’s the opposite of the gospel of Christ. I have a very good understanding of these type of people because I was one. I was an extremely religious Christain who was very good at judgment and condemning others. Even worse, those whom I believed did not follow my interpretation correctly. I was very good at following the bible, at following the rules (or at least the ones I agreed with). I was also good at putting a hedge above and beyond the scripture. I was, in reality, a Pharisee. I lived this way for years. I lost family and friends due to this, and I was a horrible representation of who Jesus really was and what he taught.
The saddest part of all of this was that, although I truly believed in God, and that Jesus was his son, the Messiah, I had no real concept of who he truly was. I did not know that God loved me, I did not understand that I was precious to him, that he really did care about me. I looked at God and how he felt about me, as I did my earthly father. I always felt that I was a disappointment to him, that I was never good enough. When I made a mistake, I felt worthless. And the worse I did in life, if I did something wrong or failed at something, the more worthless I felt. When I was doing well, I felt loved, but when I wasn’t, I felt condemned. And Church just made it worse, when I performed well, I was happy to go, and felt recharged. But when I sinned or failed to meet the expectations of others, I was miserable. My spiritual life felt more like a performance than freedom, like an empty ritual rather than a joyful journey. That, for me, was the curse of organized religion.

Eventually, I just gave up. But God did not. He continued to love me, to touch my heart. He led me back into himself, and eventually, I began to understand who God truly was. I finally grasped who he really was, and who I was. That I was important and that God really did love me! But not only that, but that I was precious to him! And he cared about me, his child, that he wanted me to be happy, not miserable. I understood that I really was LOVED!

So that was the beginning of my journey. My God journey. Eventually, over the years, I learned to love not only God, but others as well. And eventually, even myself. And through my understanding of that love, I learned what it meant to actually follow God, and who this guy Jesus really was. And this time, instead of following rules, I had this great desire to follow Jesus example. Not as a requirement, but as a natural outpouring of his love for me. And the more I did that, the more I learned what it meant to love others. Then I wanted to share. To share life. I wanted to be part of others lives. To understand them, to be with them. What does that even mean? For me, it meant that I understood how precious they were. How amazing and wonderful. I began to understand people in ways I never had. To see how strong people were, how weak. How joyful, how broken. How harsh and how utterly tender. I gained something I had missed. True compassion and empathy. Ultimately, I wanted to help them. I wanted to understand them. To communicate. To love them.

And so I began a new journey, a journey of understanding, caring and loving. A God Journey.

One of the people I met on this Journey was Marcel. I actually met him many years ago, in the middle of my mess. My brokenness. He has seen me at my worst and my best. And he has loved me through it all. He has his own journey to tell, but I will just say this: We both came through our journeys in very similar places. He has an amazing love for others and an amazing presence. He is one of the most outgoing personalities of anyone I have ever met. I love this man, my brother in Christ dearly.

So, I suppose, that is what this blog is about. Love. We both have a desire to share what we know. To help others to understand how we learned, are learning, to be free. To share our lives with others. Hopefully, reading about our lives and our journeys, we can help others to understand that they are loved as well. We are two broken comedic knuckleheads, two men with their problems, their past disasters, their current disasters and messy lives. If we can help others discover the love of Father and be a blessing to others, then we will be blessed ourselves.

The Message Room was actually started by Marcel years ago, hopefully, I can talk him into writing about the history of the name, the message, and his own story. So, more to come!

Welcome to our blog! Timothy

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