By Michael Armijo
Doug was a simple guy who had worked hard to be “normal.” His upbringing wasn’t the best, but Doug beat the odds and found life within his spiritual realm. He found God and decided that his true place in life was with Him; he wanted to come out of the darkness and stand strong into the light.
One day Doug stood in line at the mini mart when a young woman walked in. He immediately noticed her long brown hair, her beautiful eyes, and her slightly crooked smile. She raced in, dropped a fifty-dollar bill on the floor, and she didn’t notice a thing.
As he hesitated, Doug remembered his obligation to be honest. He remembered that he attends church on Sunday, and for that he just has to do what’s right. But he didn’t. The little voice in Doug’s conscience whispered: “Pick up the money put it in your pocket.”
He picked up it up, placed it in his pocket, and turned the negative into a positive by bragging about how “lucky” he was.
Soon after, he re-examined his actions and tried to justify them. He thought to himself: “God wanted me to have this money; he knew how much I needed it.” And then the guilt set in. He wasn’t comfortable attending church on Sunday, and began to run from his guilt by not caring anymore. Doug was now lost to guilt and temptation.
Several weeks went by and Doug’s dishonesty grew. He felt content about his new place because he received things he didn’t earn; he took things that he didn’t deserve. His cheating the system helped him receive tangible items that he usually couldn’t afford. And then one day a friend invited him back to church and Doug was faced with a very powerful decision: Do I continue my wicked ways, or do I go back to the light?
If Doug was to give up his newfound lifestyle, he would then have to change what he was taking from others. He would have to exchange his financial riches for spiritual ones. Honesty would once again have to prevail in his life. All the taking, which had grown into an unstoppable disease, would have to subside into giving. But Doug was afraid of doing what was right.
I believe that honesty doesn’t just “happen,” and to many, honesty has to be taught. To find a ‘God’- which is a true icon of honesty- is just an uncomfortable feeling that’s unfamiliar and sometimes uneasy to people.
And although life has given me unpredictable waves that have created confusion within my own life, I sometimes still believe. And sometimes, I HAVE TO believe. I believe that there’s something out there, a higher power, an incredible universe that shines brighter than ever imaginable. I believe that when we smile uncontrollably, when we feel the presence of happiness, we draw from this power that fills our hearts with a specific peace. There are times when it’s unexplainable, when you just can’t pinpoint why. And I believe that it’s at those times we truly feel the power and the benefit of this light.
And I hope for Doug, and for many others who have subsided into the darkness of life, that they overcome their fears. The fear of feeling content about love, affection, honesty, truth, intimacy, and the fear of anything that’s good. Because this life we live each day really is a good one, once when we pursue the truth. When we’re able to be honest and content about who we really are, where we’re going, and what we believe in. These are the elements that I believe, are the true ones that keep us free from sin, free from pain, and free from being fearful. Once we overcome these fears we’re able to openly feel the glorious rays that come from that wonderful place, which one day will guide our hearts and minds away from the deep, dark place that’s filled with the darkness filled fear of the light.