By Chris Green
July 01, 2012
On my way home from work earlier this week, I observed something that caught my eye. While driving, I looked to my left and noticed another driver speeding and passing every other car he possibly could. Obviously this driver was in a hurry, and was not in the mood to be patient and take his time. However, the driver who wanted to get to his destination the shortest and fastest way possible, ended up being behind a car who, like me, took his time and was patient. Every car the speedster passed ended up passing him by, including me. Looking back at the driver one last time as I passed on by, I noticed that not only was the speedster still trailing behind the slower paced car, but he ended up being stuck back there as well.
The situation reminded me about how I used to live my life. I used to always think that taking the fastest and easiest way was the right way to achieve and maintain my independence in life. I didn’t listen to anyone except for myself because I thought my false independence made me this top dog who thought he knew it all. The fast and easy world of being independent made me feel like I could do anything and everything that I wanted to do. I didn’t want anyone’s help and I refused to listen to anyone who tried to tell me the truth about myself. This false sense of independence made me feel like I was unbeatable, and I wasn’t going to let anyone beat me either.
Let’s go back to the car example. The speedster was lucky that he had a patient, slow-paced driver in front of him that made him slow down and eventually stop. Otherwise he would have mostly likely crashed.
However, with my life, I required multiple crashes in order for me to finally wake up and grow up. Multiple crashes were attempts from GOD to get me to grow up and start realizing that I needed to depend on him instead of all of the worldly things. I thought my fast and easy life of independence was helping me get women. THey would initially jump on board for the ride, but they eventually they quickly abandoned my downward- spiraling emotional highway. They saw the truth behind my false independence. The fancy fast and easy dinners, the fast car rides, the fast spending, all fake independence images that only projected a well-hidden fraud. Wasting money on materialistic things, like fashionable clothes, acting behaviors that weren’t me, all thoughts and behaviors from thinking the fast and easy independent life was the life of kings. In reality, it was the life of jesters.
As I continued to crash, my feelings would go in circles, emotional circles filled with frustration, anger, confusion, sadness, and the worst part was, I thought that playing the same fast, easy track of independence would get me different results if I did it a different way. Not even close, it kept leading me into the same result in the end…major life crashes.
I continued to live in denial in order to refuse accountability regarding how I was living my life and how I was treating other people. It was not until I almost lost everything that GOD finally told me that I needed to get on my knees and ask for forgiveness. I started studying the word and praying more, and one man’s biblical story touched me the most during my time of transformation.
Samson was given great power and strength from GOD in exchange for upholding serious responsibilities as an upcoming judge. Judges ch. 14 talked about how Samson decided to become independent in what he was blessed with, and took the fast and easy road of living life. He lived a life of extreme selfishness that sadly leads a lot of men and women’s lives of independence. Samson also suffered a severe crash as a woman named Delilah gave him a dose of his own manipulative medication by fooling him into having the source of his power taken away. Samson’s crash included being captured by the Philistines, humiliated, embarrassed, and having his eyes cut out. But an amazing thing happened before Samson died. He asked GOD for forgiveness and to have his strength back one last time. Samson received his full strength back because he realized that his fast and easy life led him to nothing, but when he lived in dependence for GOD in that one moment, his strength was restored.
Just like Samson, the fast and easy road of independence gave me nothing but misery, nothing about pain and loss. Like Samson, my selfishness of worshipping independence only gave me blindness and I lost all of my strength (self-confidence). But also like Samson, when I recommitted myself to GOD and asked for forgiveness, my strength was restored, but I realized that in order to maintain my renewed spiritual strength, I had to change lanes.
I had to change from driving the fast and easy to the slow and harder road. I endured failures quite a bit during the beginning of the journey, which required me to start the road over each time. I also faced my doubts: people not believing I could do it, facing multiple challenges and pressures to go back to the old track. What helped me finally become consistent was my commitment to studying the word, praying daily, and trying my best one day at a time to live by example.
When a driver comes across a bridge, what keeps cars from falling into the river? Support beams that are under every bridge. My support beams have been my family whom back when I was on the easy and fast track refused any support from them because I wanted to be independent. Other support beams were my Christian male leaders. Anytime I started losing control and was about to slip off the bridge, they held my spiritual strength together with accountability and important guidance. I also have support beams from men and women both local and away. They allow me to make my choices, but they are true enough in spirit to always show me a yellow caution flag when they think I am going too fast at times and even great enough to show me a red flag when they feel I need it.
The truth of the matter is; when we choose to live off the false hope that being independent by only relying on ourselves for everything will get us everything, our thinking only leads us to nothing but dead end crashes. Crashes are brutal, but they occur in an effort to try to get us onto the right road to success. The road to spiritual success in life requires dependence. First, dependence on GOD. Second,dependence on realizing that change and the road to success takes time, patience, and endurance. While we are on this road, we realize we also depend on family, and true spiritual friends to serve as ‘support beams’ to help us endure, and keep moving forward.
When we reach the end of the harder- slower road embracing spiritual dependence, we reach more success, more freedom, and more self-respect. Ever since I changed roads and achieved each mission, I have never felt better about myself in all of my 32 years of life!
If you feel you are currently on the fast easy road that continues to cause you crashes, it’s never too late to change lanes in the other road that leads to the mountaintop of spiritual happiness. It made a difference in my life and I hope it will in yours!
B.L.O.G Magazine Men Speaks! Coordinator & Contributing Writer
Chris Green is an intensive intervention specialist for families in crisis and adjunct Sociology instructor at Western Kentucky University. Chris is currently working on finishing his MPH and Christian Counseling licensure. Chris has over 10 years of experience working with relationships and mental health issues. When he is not out helping families or teaching Sociology, he enjoys reading, traveling, studying the bible, and watching the NFL. You can contact him at email@example.com and follow him on twitter at chrisgreen2380.