Dawn and Dusk
by Paul Aspen
The first of four books of living prayer in a series aimed to provide young people with a simple way to begin and end their day with purpose and beauty.
a note from the author:
In every young person's life, they must face a time when they are alone. Learning to stand alone for what you believe in is what it means to become an adult: If they do not, they are destined to remain tethered to their family's spiritual and philosophical umbilical. They want to grow and they feel a deep-set need to break those old bonds—at least temporarily.
When I was aging up I was given an enormous number of books of advice, but four books in particular stood out. Their titles all read 'How to Stay Christian’ but they failed abysmally to give even the slightest hint of why I should want to. During a season of questions, why is far more important than how.
My upbringing had left me empty, with 'christians' not acting very Christian; despite religious education classes, counselors, and plenty of role models I felt more alone and adrift than ever. Why should I be Christian, if they're just as messed up as everyone else even after thousands of hours being told the Christian Way was a perfect way? If when the rubber hits the road it's just as bad, why bother?
I wandered, looking for something worth believing in: Eastern mysticisms, pagan occultism, irreverent atheism, the hedonism of Mohammad, anything I could get my hands on until their failure and inadequacies in the face of the world's finest darknesses drove me back to where I had been so sure there was only false light: The Christian faith. My wanderings had left me dead inside, and my dreams strewn about collecting dust. Where was the light and truth I could glimpse in momentary fragments, where was this source? I came to where I had spent the last nine months unemployed, totally bankrupt in more ways than one. I had no purpose or believable meaning, no sense of place, no hope, and no money to distract myself or look to for salvation.
I tried having a mustard seed of faith for the first time in my life, to see where that led. I prayed what I should do, heard instructions I didn't like and did it anyway, releasing my fate to the hands of the Living God. I started praying every day, and I share that still. Now, having seen with my own eyes how God is active and alive and how He keeps His promises, I am happier and more at peace with my place in the world than I have ever been. If you or someone you know wants to see the workings of God, to develop a mind and spirit to start living a life of prayer, follow the Way. I wrote this book to help you begin to walk that you may run the course marked out for you and find your place and purpose.