Tag Archive: belief


I Pray You’ll Change Your Mind

I consider myself an agnostic when it comes to discussions about god.

It doesn’t matter which god we’re speaking about – I don’t care if you’re speaking of God, Jesus, Allah, Thor, Zeus, Ra or any of the other thousands of gods that have been worshiped on this planet since humans came into being.

Do I believe there is something greater than humans and human intelligence?  Yes.

Do I believe in something greater than humans the way religion (any religion) says I must believe?  No

How can I hold both beliefs?  In my mind, it’s easy.  There is an order to our existence that speaks to something larger than what we can currently explain with logic, reason and science.  I hold every confidence that things that are currently unexplainable now, will have a logical explanation in the future.

One only has to look at history, and acknowledge it, to know this to be true.  For example, at one time, people believed the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it.  Beliefs that were held only a few decades ago are even now being challenged.  Young teenagers today have no idea what it means to wait for the internet to connect, or the meaning behind the phrase “dial a phone number”, or that remote controls (for anything) didn’t exist at one time.  Imagine what people a hundred years from now will believe about our current beliefs?

Because I’m agnostic, I don’t think someone is going to hell just because they love someone of the same sex as themselves.

Because I’m agnostic, I don’t believe that going to a specific gathering on a specific day with specific people for a specific reason and performing specific actions will ensure my soul rests peacefully in heaven for eternity.

Because I’m agnostic, I will not dismiss your claim of having an “out of body” experience of “seeing the other side” of this life and what it will offer us.

Because I’m agnostic, I find it hard to believe that when I close my eyes for the last time on this earth, that they won’t open to another unknown experience.

Just because I hold these beliefs for myself, does not mean I will condemn you for holding different beliefs than I do.  Just because I don’t believe the way you do does not mean that I won’t think about ways to make your spiritual journey easier for you.

Recently, I purchased a book for a close relative of mine who is just starting on her spiritual walk with Jesus.  Upon seeing the book, I instantly thought about her and how she might enjoy it on several different levels, including the religious one.  The day I gave it to her, her mother saw it and commented to me, “This is a surprisingly thoughtful gift for someone who claims to not believe in God.”

I replied with, “Just because I do not believe does not mean that I’m going to dismiss your, or anyone else’s, beliefs.”

“I know.  Just know that I still pray that you’ll change your mind one day.”

I looked at her for a moment and asked, “How would you feel if I stated, ‘I hope you quit believing in God’?”

She replied with a startled look, “I would tell you that’s not going to happen!”

While our conversation continued, all I could think was, “Ditto.”

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Desire, Belief, Action

Staying with my theme of podcasts and how they have affected me, I stumbled upon one called the “Unmistakable Creative”.

I have only listened to a few at this point (3? 4?), but they are really inspiring and I have enjoyed them immensely.  The latest one that really struck a chord with me is called “The Business of Belief with Tom Asacker”.  In it, they speak of his book (of the same title), but Mr. Asacker sums it up beautifully with this statement:

“Belief is what drives people’s decisions.  This has to do with people’s desires.  Their desires drive their beliefs and their beliefs drive their actions, period.  It’s as simple as that and it’s as complex as that because people are unaware of this.  We are being pushed and pulled by our environment.  We’re just trying to make it through the day: have a decent day, have nothing go wrong, and at the end of the day flip on Netflix.  That’s what’s going on in the marketplace.  When you get somebody to adopt what you do, you’re getting somebody to switch one belief for another belief and then going back on autopilot.”  Tom Asacker

He goes into detail in the podcast how you cannot start with evidence when attempting to convince someone of the greatness of a person, place or thing.  You have to start with their desire and their belief system.  If you can tap into that, then you have a chance of changing their belief.

But NOT with evidence.  That was eye opening to me.

I have spent the last 15 years trying, unsuccessfully, to prove that I did not cause Hun and Jetsam’s separation and divorce.  I have presented evidence, proving that I was nowhere around – and it has done nothing.

Jetsam believes, with all of her heart, despite the evidence, that I am the reason they are no longer together.

Maybe it is her deepest desire that their marriage had been different.  Maybe her desire is that it should have been successful, and since it wasn’t, her belief is that it wasn’t her fault.  If her belief is it wasn’t her fault, then the fault has to lie with someone – and the most logical assumption on her part is it is to be my fault.

What she doesn’t understand is that the blame for a marriage, any marriage, not working out is on both parties.  Both Jetsam and Hun, for probably vastly different reasons, felt like the marriage was no longer sustainable.  That doesn’t make her the bad guy – and it also means – that doesn’t make Hun the bad guy.  And it definitely doesn’t make me the bad guy.

At this point, unless Jetsam decides to do something about her desires and beliefs, there is nothing I can do to change her mind.  I am going to stop trying.  There is no point in having the conversation ever again.  It is a waste of my time and energy.

This theory that desire drives belief and belief drives action also helps to explain my own actions over my lifetime.

The reason I have felt like a failure, like an impostor.

I have desired to create my entire life.  It doesn’t matter what I create (art, processes, design, etc) – I LOVE to create order out of chaos.

From early on, I was discouraged from creating.  Not that I was told “not to”, but rather told “that (project) will not earn you a life”.  The message boiled down to – creating will not pay the bills.  I know the people who expressed this belief to me was thinking ‘starving artist’ mentality and they only wished to see me stable and successful in my life.  There was no ill intent on their part.

However, by telling me that my core desire, to create, was a waste of time, I spent a large portion of my life denying that I was good at it.  If I shouldn’t desire to create, then my belief was that I am a failure for wanting to.  By believing that I’m a failure to want to create, I have self-sabotaged my own actions causing myself to actually fail.  This has reinforced my belief to crush my own desires.

EUREKA!!!  I think I just stumbled upon why I have struggled all of my life.

And…..

HALLELUJAH!!!  I am not a failure!

All I need to do is reprogram my own thoughts.

My desire is to create.  My desire is not a failure.

My belief is that I am good at creating.  My belief is not a failure.

My action is to create the best I know how to create.  My action may not have the desired result, but the act of creating itself is not a failure – just a step that did not work in the goal of creation.

It took almost 40 years for me to get to this point and this realization.  I’m going to make sure it doesn’t take another 40 years to change my own perspective.