Read parts of "A Journey of Reflections"
Jim Moeller’s book, A Journey of Reflections, came into my life like so many of my most cherished spiritual events—unsought and totally timely. My husband, Michael, was helping Jim with some editing and knew I would enjoy reading the book. He was absolutely right.
I’m probably not much different than most people in that my concept of giving and volunteering myself is something linked to pressure and the clock—something to do when I’ve reduced a sufficient amount of stress and time-consuming irritants. But that free time never seems to come, further defining the process of giving as “not now.” Sound familiar? This, of course, adds to the growing feelings of guilt and inadequacy, making us feel worse, not better.
So what can we do? Jim’s book is a good start. Unlike my experience with most spiritual books and belief systems, I read this book and found myself agreeing with every idea, every suggestion. I remember marveling as I suddenly realized that it wouldn’t matter which church you attended or which spiritual path you identified with. Jim’s book is universally applicable to all. It’s a marvelous spiritual journey, free of dogma, “shoulds,” and “shame on yous.”
Jim has a way of showing us that our lives really aren’t so complex, that service is something which can happen naturally—a simple, automatic reaction to simplifying our priorities. How did this affect me? Inspired by Jim’s daily routine, I found myself running again for the first time in years. And later, I checked in at the local blood mobile and donated blood, despite the fact that I had convinced myself I was too old for it, that the simple act of giving was just too much to ask.
As I reflect back on these changes, I realize that simply by opening myself, I had begun considering Jim’s spiritual message as a viable option in my life. And as a result, my life has flowed differently, with a new sense of possibility.
After reading A Journey of Reflections, I found myself reflecting on how susceptible we are to everyday messages, especially those that bombard us from all directions through the media, the challenges of friends and family, and the stress of work. That’s why this book is so important. It is nothing less than a reminder of why we’re really here. Picking up this book and reading it is a profound and loving act that can change your life and alter your path.
Consider the possibilities in these pages. Take them into your life and act according to your heart. That’s the only thing required here. I hope that, like me, you’ll rediscover a new sense of purpose.
May it bring you a lifetime of joy.
Martha Foley Big Bear City, CA
From the Prologue (page 9)
...Over 25 years ago I sat face to face with Wendy, an alcoholism counselor at a treatment center in Wickenburg, Arizona, called The Meadows. She looked me in the eye as she firmly yelled, “Jim, you’re going to have to make a choice. You’re going to have to decide if you want to live or die!”...
From Shirley (page 20)
...Yes, we all lose friends to cancer, but Shirley was different. In spite of the toll the disease was taking on her body, she remained faithful to her God, her family, and her friends. In between the pain was a smile, and in between the fear was overwhelming gratitude for what she had.
When we talked, I told her that in spite of all she had been through, she seemed so energized. I asked her how she did that. Her answer was simple, but her words could have a far-reaching effect on all of us if we choose to incorporate them into our daily lives: “Jim, every minute of pity is a moment lost.” She did not lose many moments.
From Hitchhiking (page 21)
...What I have just described is a common type of hitchhiking, but there is another. Dr. Merkle used to say that God puts people in our lives so that we can hitchhike with them to further our spiritual path. They will teach what we need to learn at that particular moment. Then without warning, they will depart, heading in a different direction and forcing us to again extend our fictitious thumb as we await our next teacher.
Each day I need to be conscious that God is putting people in my life for me to hitchhike with. Although harder to accept, there are people that cross my path that need me to offer them a spiritual ride. If so, then I need to be prepared to journey to that most holy place where giving help and receiving help are the same.
From I Didn’t Make it to Church Today (page 27)
...Parking about 50 yards from the “water show,” I was able to shoot pictures as I tried to capture the fury of the water. Within moments, everything changed! Two people, an adult and child, ignoring the strength of the water, lost their footing and were swept in. Without thinking, I threw the camera down on the car seat and raced to the edge of the water where they had gone in. By then the ice cold water of the creek had taken control of their destiny and was continuing to move them farther down the hill. I could do nothing but run along the creek offering the pair moral support.
The young boy, looking at me repeatedly screamed, “Help me! I’m going to die!”
I yelled back, “You aren’t going to die! You need to grab hold of something!”
“I’m going to die! Please help me!”...
From Kathy (page 32)
...I, like you, have a short list of people who have brought more to me than can ever be put in words.
One of these people is a most unlikely woman. She has never written a book or graduated from a prestigious school. In fact, she has not graduated from any school!
She and I have never had a lengthy conversation, nor argued about politics or baseball.
However, when I carried the Olympic Torch on its journey to Los Angeles for the 1984 Olympic Games, I did so in her name.
Who is this unique person? Her name is Kathy, and Kathy is mentally retarded..
From The Family Calendar (page 34)
...What kinds of memories will we have if we allow our work to be the center of our life?
What kinds of memories will we have if we put everything before our families?
For you see, this calendar expresses one more important thing: for each of us there will come a day that our only possession will be the memories that reside in our mind. We decide the value of that possession based on how we spend our most valuable time today...
From World Need (page 58)
....I need to become more conscious of the real needs of the world. If the needs of the world are greater than mine, then I need to help....
From Run (page 132)
If you find that I am trying to “change you,” run! Love is my willingness to “accept you.” Ego is my desire to “change you.”
As I said, if you feel that my ego is at work, run!
From Somehow My Parents Got Smarter (page 131)
...Mark Twain said that “when I was a boy of fourteen my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But by the time I reached twenty-one I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”
I found the same thing to be true of the 12-Step program. For over a quarter of a century I’ve attended these meetings, and with each one I become increasingly aware of the program’s wisdom. In other words, the older I get the smarter the program becomes...
From Am I Religious? (page 105)
...Am I religious? I hope not. I may be wrong, but it appears to me that all religions are man-made and come with fabricated baggage. On the other hand, spirituality is God-given. I would rather accept the gifts of God versus the baggage of man...
From Use Me (Anonymous organ donation) (page 88)
...During the next several weeks, the Medical Center worked behind the scenes to find the best possible match to assist in reducing the rejection rate.
Then on May 24, I received a call from Toni telling me that a good match had been found and she again asked, "Jim, are you okay with this? You know you can still back out."
After giving an answer that would change the lives of many, she told me that the transplant had officially been scheduled for May 29, 2002, just five days later. She then said, "Jim, this is a very serious life-and-death surgery and I must remind you that it is important that you get your personal things in order."
Without thinking I said, "Toni, I have two comments. First, I think this is more of a life-and-life surgery instead of life-and-death, and, secondly, if I live to be a hundred I will not have my life in order and now you want me to accomplish that by next Wednesday? There isn’t a chance of that."
After both of us stopped laughing, I asked if I could have the person’s name so I could substitute it into the prayer I had been saying since my first call to USC. Toni told me that her name was Valentina...
From One of My Heroes (page 164)
...When Rosa Parks stood up to her oppressors, she had no idea that anyone would join her in support. In fact, that was the last thing on her mind as she was only trying to defend her own humanness in that particular moment.
Maybe if the U.S. had a few more Rosa Parks walking among us, we could again have a say in shaping our government, businesses, and organizations that have forgotten that it is about “people,” not money and power.
Rosa, thanks for listening to the “spirit of right and wrong” that resides in each of us.
From Giving and Loving (page 170)
Something to think about. If you want others to be happy, be giving and loving. If you want to be happy, be giving and loving.
From Why Me? (page 181)
“Why me” is often the first question from my mouth after something unwanted or painful happens in my life. If so, when joy happens in my life why is not my first question, “Why me?”
From the Epilogue (page 220)
...Although this is the final reflection in this book, it is by no means a conclusion. It is merely a reflective snapshot along the journey, a lifelong journey that has taken me back to God, a God who has never left me.