As I said in part one, I stopped talking to God, via prayer and meditation, and started up with bad habits. I was hiding away from him. Hiding in darkness. I had disconnected from people and did not want to lead or share my story at all. But one of the tools I took up when I stopped drinking was talking again to God. I wasn't alone. I had the best frIend would not quit what they started. God wants me to be a man of faith who could lead by example, be honest with his human frailties and praise the divine. Um, me? Could I ever attain that? It was just days prior I swimming in Modelos and Corralejo shots,(Dear Lord I really this them,) How in the world could I lead or teach men about faith? Well when you are called upon, you teach what you know.
So I already felt confidant about my talks to God, now I needed to reach out to a group of people who shared my faith and wouldn't judge this sinner. Although I adhere to the tenets of AA and had been a "member," via going to them with family members as a kid, I knew it would not be the right fit. Alanon? Nah, too many angry peeps that bravely share their issues, but again, I needed a same faith based group. Ah, small groups, my church during the year has small groups that meet once a week for 3 months at a time. Terrified, I signed up and new I had to go. I loved the group right away. We had young to old people all talking about what was discussed at the last service. I found wisdom and humor in the group. I also was surprised how progressive their thoughts were on many issues, which made me feel at home. To break down the word of God with others is a gift. One that I was not raised in but it was a great new experience. I could now "tag" if you will, my faith to certain teachings. I could even in a sense take a teaching and make it accessible to my martial arts students. Which worked. I started sleeping better. It was a great fall that culminated in the 4th month of my sobriety with my meeting my girlfriend.
Gods gives you only what you can handle. My faith was shining and I was less terrified of being a leader of light. All leadership is influence. Are you a good influence or bad one amung your family and friends? Can you lead your loved ones when they are in pain and suffering from their own brokenness? Yes! I was talking to my girlfiend the other night about God talking through other people to us. I told her that it when I don't listen to others is when I find myself furthest from God. Being a leader demands community and accountability, both which I never respected in the past.
i deeply thank my small group and I'm excited to see those faces again this fall. They want noting from me just to see that God is working through me. This re-energizes me for my loved ones and students. My daily walk is now less about drowning my sorrows instead of learning from them. Sharing my sorrows for men to take heed. Please, use my insight for your betterment. I know some close dudes struggling deeply with life's challenges. I want to tell them it all begins and ends with their faith. Your spirit can uplift a community or ruin a family. Your heart can inspire many or attract destruction. There is nothing wrong with failing. I do so multiple times a day. But if you keep running away from them man, how can you ever learn from them? How can you learn who you are if you continue to dwell in the darkness?
Faith is action not a Facebook post or clever hashtag. Faith is scary and warm. Faith is the unknown. Faith is the alpha and omega. Lead wisely.