A Long and Winding Road
We may not all remember the Beetles song, “The Long and Winding Road,” because some of you are so young. So, here is the first verse:
The Long and Winding Road
That Leads Me to Your Door
Will Never Disappear
I’ve Seen that Road Before
It Always Leads Me Here
Lead Me to Your door…
This—to me—is the metaphor of spiritual life.
The prodigal son leaves to go on a journey far away from the protection of his father’s money and love to find that separation from home isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Empty handed and beaten down, he returns home.
The husband leaves his wife for the sexy secretary only to find that she is needy, wants a father not a partner, and is completely codependent. The husband begs for the forginess of the wife to return to true love.
The child leaves school to marry his young love and get a minimum wage job, only to find that responsibility and being a young father is much harder than he could have ever imagined. He goes back to his parents and asks for their support until he can go back to school and do what they intended for him.
These hard lessons metaphorically all lead us back to the door of God.
The problem is most of us, once we have made mistakes and have left religion or a spiritual walk, are afraid to knock at God’s door. But I tell you, the scriptures couldn’t make it clearer in the story of the prodigal son, that God is always waiting with His/Her arms open for you to come home into the love that never left you. Don’t waste your time in self-flagellations and remorse, return to love.
I’m probably one of the few people who I know who have never had a falling away from the God experience. No matter how much I did that may have looked like it was outside the realm of spirituality, I never stopped believing that God was right by my side. So, to tell you the truth, I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be in the dark without God. That thought scares the BeJesus out of me. (For you nonsoutherners, BeJesus is a southern heightened slang for Jesus.)
I meet people, however, who have told me stories of leaving religion behind because of being rejected from church and pastors because they were gay or had caused some unpardonable sin like divorce. They were treated like cast aways. It’s no wonder they projected that this was God throwing them into the fires of an angry world.
To those people, I say, “The church or pastors aren’t God, thank God.” If they were, I think we would all be a lot more injured than we are.
I guess I was just lucky. When I got kicked out of a church (and I got kicked out of 3), instead of hating God, I just assumed God was leading me to a church that was better or would preach something I needed to know more than the one I was in. Can anyone say, “Hallelujah to that?” That’s how I ended up at Unity and the Centers for Spiritual Living. I wanted to be in a church that didn’t condemn me for being who I was. I researched churches and found that these churches preached of a loving, all forgiving God. That is what I wanted to believe in. So, I learned of that face of God.
Honestly, I don’t know how God found me and kept me so close in a life that could have been destined for insanity and probably death. But I know there is a reason for my life. I don’t know exactly what that is. But I want to be around long enough to find that out. I want to keep waking up every day to the sound of my alarm and thinking: what is going to happen today that is going to bring me a little closer to understanding my purpose here on this earth.
Don’t you want that for your life?
If you do, all you have to do is put away all your old thoughts about God and church and start from the beginning with a new relationship with it, him or her—whatever you choose to call God or your Creator. Start with hello. Read a book that might give you a different perspective on religion than you have ever had before. One that I think is really wonderful is Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth.”
What Eckhart does is take all the good in most all of the major religions and shares the pertinence they bring to our culture and our society. Then he helps you make great choices concerning your own spiritual journey. What would help you connect with your spiritual oneness? That’s the only thing that is important in this walk. Your connectedness. Not mine.
This is my hope for all my clients, whether they come to me for smoking, weight loss, fears, insomnia, divorce, or you name it. Everything leads to the one and eternal choice: fear vs. unlimited possibility.
Which will you choose?