Selfish Confessions

She could've pushed me back down...
She could've pushed me back down... | Source
Without God, how could I resist the painted ladies?
Without God, how could I resist the painted ladies?

(There are anechdotes and figures in this article that are not made to impress or offend, these things are just the truth about my past and how I have struggled.  There is no piety in me when I speak from the bible...just an experienced walk with Christ)

If there is one service I can provide my fellow writers, it is brutal honesty without use of gratuitous profanity. Many suffer through my cantankerous nature, noticing how often I jump around with little consistency, almost as if inconsistency were my only mode of normal. The lack of enduring qualities I embody is what defines a portion of who I am. As an only child surrounded by the buzzing of adult behavior, I sought the approval of my elders from an early age without paying much mind to my child peers. Indeed I grew as a selfish Oak among the Maples (you must listen to “The Tree’s” by RUSH).

I am devoting the space of this hub to my hideous behavior, thus gifting much fat for thine enemies to chew. My fellow Christians will not like this, some will hide behind the thick leather binding of their bible, but first and foremost “I am above no man or woman.” Human nature has achieved little deviation over the centuries; we are merely exposed to the seedy underbelly with ferocious pace because of technology. Political skeletons will eventually be exhumed, as for me, I would rather go to my grave with my shoulders straight, then to have my nemesis conquer and vanquish my name in absentia.

I know what it means to lay so low, my face buried in the carpet with shame, prostrated in defeat, hollow of will, broken in spirit and lacking manly character. Tears streaming from my face fell not more than an inch from my ducts, as I try my best chameleon imitation of blending with berber. I know the pain of falling so short; I wonder why I bother opening my mouth to make contact with the world around me. I am so selfishly wrapped in delusion of fulfilling personal dreams and wants that I constantly loose sight of the prize, let alone the purpose. The work I must endure to change me is Herculean, the chains clasped about my ankles are hardened steel, fashioned from the intense fires of hell. One foot in Hades and one in paradise, I constantly balance the pains of lukewarm fury. The answer is so simple and yet so hard. Our lives blink before the erosion of mountains, and yet they stand to see failure upon century of failure; if St. Helens could be duplicated by every cloud piercing giant and grass covered mole hill, tomorrow we would all be ashen dust.

At the height of myself, before the bottom fell out.   And Jamie O'neil says there "is no Arizona"
At the height of myself, before the bottom fell out. And Jamie O'neil says there "is no Arizona" | Source
I wouldn't mind a Quattrorporte in my garage
I wouldn't mind a Quattrorporte in my garage
Some crave being at the head of the table, do you?
Some crave being at the head of the table, do you?

To those of a different feather, to those who berate my irrational belief in the unseen, I am a man of flesh with no less want in my loins than any evolved being. Tightly encased in my skull, I have eyes of wanton behavior and licentious examinations. Beating within my chest pumps a heart of weak measure and “what if” foreboding. A mind I have been given, a mind I have polluted the likes of which this earth hath never weighed. Such intricate design lost on such pitiful applications. With abilities out lasting the deep blue, incessant questioning of motives wreak havoc upon my desires to remain faithful in all Christian duties. I am born of no different material; my conviction does not separate me from a crowd of bread winners. All that is different in me is a choice I made some years ago. All that separates my fabric is the will to want more after this life of lowly crimes and spiritual misdemeanors. In me, I put my life in the hands of something only the winds can hear. On my own, I am no good for you, for my family and definitely for myself.

Laying all my cards on the table before you sits one idea that stops me from being everything that is held sacred among the enlightened. Only one choice pits me against the inner demons gnashing and tearing about my psychological persona. By choosing God, I choose not to enter the house of beautifully painted whores, entangling my body and damning my soul with the blood lust of sensuous scent and naked ambition. Choosing God retains my sanity in providing a warm, loving home for my wife and daughter, in place of seeking a new temporary plaything, someone who would challenge me and push my mental and physical endurance instead of my spiritual and Shepard like qualities. How easy to say no to the one who made me and yes to the one handing me the keys to over four hundred horse power, 16 way power adjustable, perforated leather seats and 6 forward gears. It is very likely that on my own I would step on my fellow man to climb the corporate ladder, saying and doing whatever it took to secure power, prestige, and higher compensation. Yes, I have desires, but I have scruples under the subset of one decision. On my own I have failed miserably, but aligned with the creator of the cosmos, I can transcend the heights of material gain. As a member of team Alpha and Omega, my priorities are rerouted and focused upon good nature, wise counsel and physical denial.

On my own, I have blown roughly $187,000 on vehicles since the age of 16; I am only 31 years old. On my own, my young family went from earning nearly 100K a year to filing bankruptcy at age 30. On my own, I turned my back on wise counsel to pursue my own path, through my own work, on my own terms only to end up riding a mountain bike as security detail during 116 degree weather to put food on the table. On my own, I have almost walked away from my marriage a couple times. On my own, I may not have lived to see today.

The Lord reminds us to love the little things.
The Lord reminds us to love the little things. | Source

God had vastly different plans for me, I just had to look up. With God, I have endured the depression of lost will. With God I have overcome the temptations of flesh. With God I am earning enough money to keep my wife at home raising our beautiful child. With God I stop to take a time out with the world bustling by, I admire and absorb the complexity of this organic machine He had created. With God I can take nature walks, enjoying fresh mountain breezes, chilly snow capped peaks and crystal clear glacier fed lakes. With God I can see His patience and glory working through my wife as we raise a little girl. With God I can become a gentle leader of men, one who exudes quiet strength and resolve. With God I am never left wanting, short on change, without food, shelter, clothing and spiritual fulfillment. With God all things are possible, and with God you may find renewed strength to take on the death in sin.

Most of all, I am a different person because of the Man on the cross.

Universal Symbol of Redemption and Salvation
Universal Symbol of Redemption and Salvation | Source

Personal Account

Have you seen the error of your ways?

  • I have been blessed to know the staight and narrow path from childhood
  • Yes, I took a great fall, but Grace has healed and given me a life beyond my comprehension
  • Not sue, still feels as though I am walking high upon a fence
  • None of the above!
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Dr. Stephen Covey

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Comments 23 comments

onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 6 years ago from A small southern town

The saga of a broken man as only a healed man can tell it.

Truth makes a great testimony.

God Bless You, JRM


exjwlaurie 6 years ago

Well done Jason! You speak your truth with such an honest exposure--yet any one of us, if we were to be so objective could see our lives in your words.

I am amazed that God could love us sinners. How Godly, is His grace?! Thank you for baring your soul in an almost poetic way. You have such a wonderful way of drawing us into your truth--and then showing us the reason for your triumphant joy! God Bless you Brother!


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Y – God knows our wants and our desires. He knows that our needs that are very different. When were ready to listen, he has much more in store for us, than we have for ourselves.

Laurie – Thank you for the awesome comment. I also wonder what I it is God sees in us beyond being his children. His majesty is unknowable and so profound, the curiosity of what lies beyond can be maddening. Thank you friend for the great compliments.


pcoach 6 years ago

God's gift to you is the man you have become and a family to nurture and love. Thank you for sharing your story. God is truly Great.


leslie4130 profile image

leslie4130 6 years ago from TX

Wow, very poetically written. Great story. Thanks for sharing!


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Hi P,

Thank you for the kind words. This wasn’t easy to post, I hesitated pushing the send button, but I knew it was necessary for those I challenge to understand I know something of difficult redemption. Thank you coach.

God Bless

Leslie,

Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I was very unsure of how this would be received by fellow believers. I appreciate the support, and also am available for those who are in such a place right now.

God Bless.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Jason, a very honest and raw account of your journey. I appreciate your transparency .. It is clear that you give God all the glory for being your solid rock. I hear your heart crying out to be all that God created you to be. This hub did have a poetic, intellegent feel - you are a GREAT communicator. God is the strength of your life.

God Bless YOU!

Mekenzie


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Mekenzie,

What wonderful praise you gave me, thank you very much. I would suppose that God can give us little gifts and glimpses of how real he is through us, through our openness and vulnerability. Bless the woman who has lived a near perfect life, giving her all to God, Bless the man who has crawled through the mud, ate from the gutter but spoke truth about God. This is why he declares “all things are possible through him.” Thank you for reading and contributing those great accolades.

God Bless you.


jillsama profile image

jillsama 6 years ago from Gwinnett County Georgia

This is such an awesome and truly inspirational hub. I have to admit that I'm not what you call a model christian but God has still deemed me worthy to bless. I don't say it or express it as often as I should, but I love Jesus and I'm glad he loves me still with all my imperfections.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Jill,

Thank you for stopping by to read my hub. Jill, I am not sure there is such a thing as a “model” Christian. Sin is an equalizing human fault, something that afflicts all of us differently. Admitting that you know Jesus and are in want of a closer relationship is half the battle. Knowing that we are not the end result of our lives it the other half. I hope you find confidence and courage to pursue that relationship. Thank you for the great compliment.

God Bless.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Jason, well written and thoughtful, God Bless you and yours, 50


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Hello 50, thanks for stopping by to read my latest. I appreciate it friend. Were finally getting into the best part of Arizona weather, eh?

God Bless


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Aye, Jason and it lasts 'til May


Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 6 years ago from Arizona

I shed a tear upon finishing this one, I suppose from feeling I should walk a path of similarity without straying as I often tend to do! Thank you Jason, you are to be seen as an inspiration to all from every walk of life! We all can see and learn a bit of ourselves from you. To me you are a source of inspiration, a guiding hand, a man worthy of lending an open ear, a guide and a friend, all through your written word. I thank you. God Bless!


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

He Jeremey,

I am almost speechless by your praise. If there is anything good to come of my life, it would be the glimmering reflection of folly showing through a tear drop as it plunges into the deep see of history. Your words touch me deeply; I am always open for discussion of your choosing. Just remember to look up Jeremey. God Bless friend.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago

A step you've come...

wayward soul lol...

but not far enough to see that and coming this far you come far enough that perhaps a moments pause...

might enlighten a step you've not considered for something you need...

Belief in Father is not enough...

he never asked you to flog yourself...

there is a better course then...

grief and regret though as to that there is cause and perhaps some purifying for the passage...

Consider the law to refine...

the next step is there, plain to see...

But perhaps not too plain as each has bible in hand but no understanding...

I would not put my Father over the Christian Gods...

Who they understand less then stars...

follow with the eyes of those who would flog themselves with no care to their back...

Looking up yet not understanding and claiming that incomprehension is a necessary course...

Why gave my Father the mind to masses...

in spiritual life that is all that matters...

if he was intending to boggle it past sensibility... flexing is muscle to watch us swoon...

This isn't the Father the Hebrews knew but Christians love that kind of thing...

But as for Christians....

in strictest sense I find myself one but for my faith they say I'm not...

So let them have their way with that and I will say what I must say...

wayward or not I cannot tell you...

I suppose you may know...

if these words do not prick ears...

on judgement day.

God bless my friend.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago

lol I didn't take time to edit this one but the edited form I made a hub of lol. I may not let you live the wayward comment down though lol Take care. this was a beautiful article.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

J Frost,

Wow, a poem contributed to me as a parallel, in reference to your wayward comment, it doesn’t bother me one bit. Either it is true or a possibility, but I would never ignore it. My dad programmed his cell phone to play “Wayward Son” by Kansas whenever I call, so you may be on to something…lol.

I really appreciate how you responded to this article. I do agree with your references, that is why I am not concerned of any backlash from the sheeple. Truth is genuine, truth is revealing, and truth levels the playing field. Thank you so much for the thoughtful poem.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago

lol I am glad that I didn't offend, not that I am overly worried that I would. I am frankly who I am and enjoy people like you who can be so frank as well. I think in language that feels like poetry and so often when I read someone else's pros, poem or whatever a response often suggests itself to me and then I claim OCD with my pen and I have to respond. Maybe that should be medicated with something but I am rather tired of the side effects so be warned.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

No worries, you are right up my alley, all compulsives welcome here. As long as people do not claim Turrets when they disagree with me ;-)

Cheers.


lamiya profile image

lamiya 6 years ago

great job ,nice article.

God bless u.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 6 years ago from Sacramento, California Author

Hello Lamiya, thank you for reading and leaving a nice compliment. God Bless you and yours


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 5 years ago from Georgia

What an awesome testament to what God is doing in your life and can do in others' lives as well. Thanks.

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