It’s funny, when I look back in retrospect on the world that I knew, the world that I once lived in and the world that I saw around me, how things have changed.
The world that I knew in my youth or early adulthood was small, immediate, basically in my face. And I was the focus of what I saw, everything was related to me. Self gratification, in it’s many forms permeated most of my thoughts and experiences. And I found out very quickly that there were a number of options readily available to supposedly enhance or expand upon the reality that I knew. What most of us do is look around us and see what others are doing and then make a decision as to whether we will try it or not. It could be drugs, alcohol, education, sex, financial security or any number or combinations of avenues that are open to us, that we use to fill the uncertainty within us. We’ve been given life and we’re not exactly sure what to do with it. And the geography around us can be different for many of us. Some come from nurturing families where support and guidance is readily available, others, not so much. We observe and experience things like getting hurt inside, being looked down on, being accepted or rejected and infrequently or frequently, being used to fulfill someone else’s objectives. We also experience the practical implications of meeting the expectations of others and the effect that has on us. Practical knowledge or understanding about doing right or wrong was basic and being critical of my own thoughts and actions was minimal. I often think of how little I understood when I left High School, how ill prepared I really was and how what I had learned up to that point in time, hadn’t adequately prepared me for what lay ahead. Our youth need mentors, and the supply doesn’t even come close to meeting the requirement. Broken homes, human frailties, and what the media displays as commendable or achievable goals leaves a lot to be desired.
The world that I once lived in presented me with realities that I didn’t fully understand or wasn’t fully prepared to accept. In order to sustain myself I had to work at something to earn the money necessary to cover the expenses. Some of us basically have to go it on our own, a support system isn’t always available and we become answerable for what happens next. That means earning a living, developing a marketable skill set and experience so that advancement and more funds to achieve desired goals are available. But it also presented me with practical experiences of my own self imposed limitations with regard to how willing I was to pursue the goals I had set and basically work towards. Taking the minimal effort approach can become a viable option and reality sets in about what can realistically be achieved. For some of us, this stage is critical because we drop our expectations and settle for less. It’s here that the practical ramifications of this settling for less mentality kicks in and not only are our expectations about our goals diminished but our own accountability for our decisions surfaces. For too many, it becomes an “us” against “them” mentality and the prognosis for that approach is seldom good.
The world that I saw around me became vaguely clearer and the realities of my own deficiencies and their ramifications started to set in. For me, there was an emptiness, a void that had never been filled. Enter God’s grace. An answer to a heart felt question asking God, if He existed, to show Himself to me. I had enough foresight to see that the path I had chosen wasn’t working. It was taking me down. I cried out to God. He answered, the very next day, on the same step that I sat on when I cried out to Him. Enter mentors that I didn’t even know existed, enter people giving of themselves when they didn’t have to. Enter a whole new world with realities that I didn’t even know about. And most importantly, a relationship with God that I had no idea was even possible. I can remember thinking to myself, after some initial exposures to “Christians”, that even if it wasn’t really true, it wouldn’t be a bad way to live. But that doesn’t work. Sooner or later you have to deal with Jesus, sooner or later you either reject Him or ask Him to be your Lord and Savior. Sooner or later you need to honestly look at the evidential facts of history and the conclusions that they lead to. And if you take that step, He is there waiting for you, just like He always has been. And I am so glad, so thankful. I was one of those people who had eyes but didn’t see and ears but didn’t hear.
I’m in the twilight of my life now, and in spite of all of my failures, and there have been many, He, Jesus, has always been there. And it is the most beautiful experience and relationship that I have ever known, in spite of all the stupid mistakes I have made, because His love is greater than our mistakes. He knows us because He created us and He walked on this earth with us, and gave His life for us, that we might live, like He does, resurrected. His love is real because He is real. The love in the hearts of His people is real. His purpose is so complete. His wisdom is so beyond ours. Once you come to really know Him, you have to love Him. That is reality and it all flows from Him.
If you can identify with any of my story, but have never taken the step towards Jesus, please do. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, you’ll never regret it.
John 3:16 NIV “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!