A New Conversation about Faith
My earliest recollection about having faith and
going to church begins back in the early seventies.
I remember the look and sounds of the church I
attended and the apparent power that the minister
had over the congregation. In my young mind the
minister was a direct representative of God so I
came to the conclusion that the minister was
definitely closer and more connected to God than
any one. Although I was too young to really
understand everything the minister was saying,
intuitively I felt that something was wrong with
his message. I remember having lots of questions
that no one would answer directly for me. This led
to skepticism about God from a very early age.
The event that I remember most about God as a
child was being force to get baptized. When I say
forced I mean that literally. I definitely did not
want to participate in what I considered to be a
useless ritual but I did not have a choice. My
grandmother threatened me with bodily harm if I
didnt go through with it and I knew that she
would keep her word of tearing me a new
behind if I did not go. According to the
grownups in my life I had to be baptized in the
name of the father the son and the Holy Spirit if I
wanted to save my sinful soul.
Without question my greatest fear about being
baptized was drowning. I was terrified that the
minister had talked to God and found out about some
of the sinful things that I had done. Now I was
going to be punished. I just knew that he was going
to hold my head underwater until I drowned and then
say that it was an accident. Or maybe he would say
that God called me home to be with him. Either way
I knew it was the end for me.
As the minister motioned for me to step into the
pool I wanted to turn around and run. Unfortunately
there was a deacon standing behind me that would
not allow that to happen. As I walked toward the
minister I could hear the music in the background.
It sounded more like a funeral than a baptism and
that simply amplified my fear. I could feel my
heart pounding in my chest as sweat continued to
run down my face.
As I approached the minister I decided that I
would trust the process and hopefully come out of
it alive. As he grabbed my forehead and began
saying his baptismal prayer I took a deep breath
and hoped for the best. In an instant I was dunked
in and out of the water and I was still alive.
Hallelujah Jesus! I was still alive! As the
minister finished up his prayer he detected a smile
on my face. Im sure he thought that I was
filled with the Holy Spirit but the truth is I was
simply glad he didnt drown me. Ive
heard some people say that they experience a
profound spiritual feeling after being baptized.
The only thing I felt was cold. The water was
freezing and I simply wanted to get out of that
pool and dry off.
As I think back in retrospect this one event
probably shaped my perception of God more than
anything else at the time. As a result of this
experience I concluded that God;
- Only spoke to ministers.
- Created all of the pain in my life.
- Would only listen to you if you prayed in
church and paid your tithes.
- Was someone/something you should be afraid
As I moved through adolescence and into my
teenage years my skepticism and doubts about God
continued. I didnt know exactly why I did not
believe in God there was just something in me that
needed concrete irrefutable proof.
As my doubts about God continued to grow I had
an experience that challenged me to question my
beliefs about God. One Sunday my mother and I were
sitting in church and I noticed that she was
crying. When I asked her what was wrong she said
nothing. As I listened to the sermon I
did not detect anything in the ministers words that
should have made my mother cry. I assumed that
maybe she was sad about something that she just had
not told me about. Either way I still wanted to
know why she was crying. When I asked her once
again why she was crying she answered because
I feel joy in my heart! What do you
mean you feel joy in your heart I asked.
Arent you crying because you are
sad? Im not sad at all. I feel
lots of love and gratitude in my heart right now
and that is why I am crying she said. This
really confused me because I had always related
tears to sadness and I had never felt so joyful
that I cried. As I sat there and watched her weep I
could feel the love in her heart. Somehow she was
experiencing the presence of God right next to me.
After that experience I decided that maybe I needed
to rethink my beliefs about God and if I were lucky
I would have the opportunity to feel the joy that
she was feeling.
Isnt it amazing how seemingly simple
events can completely shift your perceptions and
perspectives about things? As a child, I grew up
being afraid of God and denying its existence. As I
grew older, I became open to the fact that my
beliefs may have been incorrect and I became
willing to look at things from a different
perspective. This is what I mean when I talk about
a new conversation. It is simply being willing to
see things from a new and different perspective.
The amazing thing to me is that it took my
experience with my mother crying to change my mind
about God. As a result of that experience I made
room for the possibility that there was a God and
that if I wanted to truly experience it I would
have to get out of my head and into my heart where
God really lives.
I must admit that I did go through a period in
my adult life when I made a choice to become an
Atheist. During this time I was experiencing
several hardships in my life and it was difficult
for me to be open to the existence of God. I had
attempted to go back to church to alleviate some of
the pain I was in, but, it simply added to the pain
I was experiencing. I had so many unanswered
questions about God that I simply concluded that
there was no such thing.
After a few years of trying to convince myself
that God wasnt real I remembered the
experience of my mother so I set out to
feel the love of God the way my mother
did. Because of my commitment, I became willing to
do whatever it took to feel the love within me. I
participated in several seminars and workshops that
assisted me in my emotional healing. As a result of
that healing, I reconnected to my feelings, which
resulted in my ability to feel and experience God
within me. I am now able to feel the love within me
that has always been there. Because of this
newfound understanding I have come to some new
conclusions about God that I would like to share
- God speaks to all people all of the time.
The question isnt to whom does God speak;
the real question is who will actually
- God is literally Love. Love will never cause
you pain or sorrow. If I ever experience pain I
am the source of that pain not God. The only
thing God is capable of is love.
- You can have God without religion. It
doesnt matter which faith you practice or
what God you serve. God goes by many different
names and when you are comfortable with any of
the names you are definitely connected to God.
There are many paths to God and just because
someone is on a different path than you it does
not mean that they are lost.
- There is absolutely no reason to be afraid
of God. God is love so you should never be
Of course these are my truths and I am not
trying to convince you otherwise. I accomplished my
goal of feeling the love of God within
and I am happy and content with my relationship
with my creator. My hope for you is that you seek
out your truth and experience all the love God has
in store for you.
If you have unanswered questions about God then
it is up to you to find your own answers. Do not
rely solely on ministers or gurus. Take some time
and come to your own personal truth and
understanding about God. Read books that offer
insights and wisdom that may seem unconventional
but speaks to your own spirit. Do not be afraid to
try a different religion or belief system. Learn to
trust your own inner wisdom to find the place that
is right for you. If you are willing to look deep
within yourself I can assure you that you can find
the truth that sets you free.
The time is now for a new conversation about
God. Are you ready and willing to feel it for
* * *
Taylor is a dreamer, revolutionary, an
entrepreneur, author (A New
development coach and motivational speaker who has
dedicated his life to empowering men (and women) to
reach their full potential. He does not consider
himself to be an expert or guru. He does consider
himself to be extremely knowledgeable in the field
of personal growth and development. The fact is, he
is an ordinary guy that made a commitment to live
an extraordinary life and he wants to challenge you
to do the same. E-Mail
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