From The Shadows To The Light (the journey of us all)

The wages of sin is death.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Regardless of the direction sin takes you in,

Its wages are death.

Either death of the ego (hopefully),

Or death of the body and soul (probably unless…).

Wage is something you earn,

As in “minimum wage.”

So to sin is to earn death.

I have sinned profoundly and so frequently in my life that it’s surely by grace alone that I’m still here.

Which makes me contemplate ways of interpreting a word like “death”.

The most obvious is face value.

One stops breathing, and one dies.

But I would say for me too the wages of sin have been death, but not of the physical variety thankfully.

But rather an ego death.

The wages of sin humbled me to a breaking point,

And emptied my life of freedom, security, and much comfort at all.

It brought me to a place of humility to the degree that all I had to help me to survive was a connection to God.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

Mathew 5.

I didn’t come to God or seek him with all earnestness because I was good,

But from a place of despair and desperation.

I don’t now think of God as much as I do cause I’m righteous. I do so because salvation came to me through grace and grace alone for a desperate man who was completely broken against the bankruptcy of a sinful and prideful life.

From the dead end of an ego looking for redemption in the bone-headed pursuit of his own power.

And that wasn’t just for a season but throughout the course of many years.

I talked about God but all my ego really wanted was fame and money to help itself manipulate its way through life without facing inevitable destruction and the desolation that comes with it. And this isn’t some giant revelation about how evil I was but rather a call out of the nature of all egos. No such thing as a righteous ego and so a life led by ego will embark on a sinful journey until humility levels its domination

Or death visits its host. Either way a kind of dying must occur.

And all I can say is thank God I didn’t get what I wanted.

“I’ll say it again-it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Mathew 19.

Had I gotten what I wanted, I would have been able to stave off true humility.

The creature comforts,

The women,

The drugs,

The houses,

The vacations,

And the crowd that would have surrounded and been submerged in that lifestyle would have proved too powerfully distracting to ever face.

The real poverty of my soul.

No one comes to humility voluntarily,

Or allows their ego to die unless they have to.

And to get to the place of having to have that process occur is no fun at all.

Terrifying and painful.

If you can fight it off with limitless funds and friends (whether fake or not), the chances of actually facing it become as likely as a camel getting through the eye of a needle.

Lucky for me,

I was totally unlucky.


So what’s it mean to repent, and why do I have to?

And when we do things like repent,

Or say or suggest to someone else that they need to repent,

Why do people have a visceral, hate-filled response in your direction?

Let’s face it, talking about spiritual matters,

And even worse quoting the Bible,

Means you’re figure skating on thin ice,

Right from the jump.

No one likes a holy roller,

No one likes a Bible thumper.

And you can multiply all that innate resistance by 10 when the subject of repentance comes up.

For a start, who are you to tell me to repent?!

How dare you.

With your sin-filled past,

Or like Jimi Hendrix sung,

“Tire tracks all across your back I can tell you’ve had your fun.”

And indeed I have,

And so it is not from on high that I attempt to broach this touchy subject,

But down on the battlefield with the rest of ya.

Or you.

Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the gate to the kingdom of heaven,

Of that there really is no doubt.

And so repentance, rather than self-condemnation, is just a hallway into the room of self-forgiveness.

A letting go of the past,

Releasing the devil’s strongholds and ability to accuse us when we attempt to put our lives on the right track.

I think there is a direct correlation between one’s ability to repent,

And the degree to which they can allow themselves to identify with presence or God.

When one is locked into perpetual ego identification,

Owning up to being wrong is a more difficult bridge to walk.

When one’s entire identity essentially resides in an illusion, or even delusion,

It’s like a home built on quicksand.

An insecure structure would then logically need to expend a great deal of energy just keeping itself propped up.

An exhausting and futile exercise is the stuff most human lives are built upon.

I know this from experience, and also an experience I’m still subject to veer into from time to time.

Saying that, my recognition of it,

Is fairly quick these days, and the corrective measures are on something like auto-pilot.

Rooting yourself in presence is so much more comfortable than the ego that when or if you drift off course, the mental noise is so disruptive you once again find yourself finding silence to take you home.

But yes, for those rooted entirely in ego or thought identification,

Repentance is a nightmare.

Not cause they are bad people,

(We are all bad people),

But because they are afraid and insecure, or even terrified.

To admit fault in any situation,

Is to admit that your framework of reality is questionable.

Presence can handle this,

Presence welcomes this,

Presence is in a moment to moment state of self-correction,

Self-forgiveness, and repentance.

Presence is in a state of surrender,

Presence doesn’t have it all figured out but is rather basking in the glow of the great mystery.

The ego on the other hand,

Has to be better than,

Is rife with envy,

Walks around in a cloud of suspicion and judgment,

Is condemning others as a way of protecting itself from seeing the delusions of its made-up reality.

When seeing these two vastly different operating systems that are available to us all,

It’s not hard to see why some resist the concept of repentance with everything they’ve got,

Whereas others quite enjoy saying each day in their morning prayer,

Forgive me for what I’ve done,

And the ways in which I’ve fallen short.

In the Lord’s Prayer which is the way Jesus instructed us to pray,

There is the line,

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.

Notice that we ask to be forgiven first,

We acknowledge that we aren’t perfect.

That we have and will (whether purposely or unconsciously) trespass on others.

This is why repentance and forgiveness are inextricably linked.

When we review our lives, which of us but Jesus can rightfully claim that we aren’t in dire need of forgiveness?

I know I can’t claim that,

And this is a relief.

It means I can easily forgive those who have trespassed against me,

And by my count, there’s a lot to forgive on that score as well.

But no matter,

It’s all linked.

And since I know my ego isn’t close to the alpha and omega,

And that my being,

And the reality of my divine beingness is quite far removed from my ego,

I find no problem at all with repentance.

I know my ego is full of bs,

So it’s actually fun, funny, and deeply relieving to call him out as such.

To repent.

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Mathew 4:17.

The kingdom of heaven is nothing more than what we are in when in presence without a shred of resentment towards ourselves, towards God, or anyone else.

And when we ask for repentance,

We are released into the kingdom of heaven like water breaking through the dam of self-contempt.

We hate ourselves for our sins,

So much so that we defend ourselves against the shame of it all by not allowing ourselves to even see it,

When we are wrapped in the delusions of the ego.

People will fall behind Satan rather than having Satan get behind them,

All from the fear and inability to repent.

They will serve the God of anger and judgment,

Fear and condemnation,

Rather than hearing Jesus when he says,

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

A world of perfect peace and unification with God’s order is on the other side of the ego’s shattering against the rocky shores of repentance.

So repentance is no easy thing when we consider that it will egg on a kind of dying of the self in order to fully occur.

But it’s a welcome death,

Because it’s a death that leads to a rebirth into the eternity of God’s soul and true peace,

Or the kingdom of heaven.

I wish it didn’t sound so religious,

But the reality of what our human predicament is,

And who Jesus was and is,

Is immutable and actual.

How do I know?

Because the truth resonates on an inescapable frequency which gives birth to us rather than the other way around.

We don’t determine the truth as much as we are determined by the truth.

The truth

just is the truth,

And you can try and negotiate with it,

Or change it,

Or soft-sell it.

But it just sits there unaffected by human nonsense.

I get that religious talk,

Or Jesus talk,

Or Bible talk is problematic for almost everyone,

From the devout to the atheist.

And I could try and write inspiring stuff about morning routines and discipline,

Or keep spiritual talks vague and esoteric,

But in order to do that I would be editing out all the good stuff.

And so if any of this offends anyone at all,