Every now and then you cross paths with someone who leaves a lasting impression. This is the story of such a person, this person and I crossed paths and this is his story I hope you enjoy it as much as I d0.
As an adult, I have always thought I was above the law, an outlaw of epic proportions. I romanticized my life; I was counterculture, off the grid, living however I wanted. Then suddenly it happened. Although it was more than 15 years ago, I remember the day as clearly as if it were today. It was an unusually brisk and cloudy overcast September morning. My early morning routine of exercise activities felt different for some reason that morning. It was 5:50am I was already up, as I am everyday at that time completing my indoor exercise routine of push-ups, sit-ups, and various weight lifting activities, after completing activities inside it’s time to go outside for a bit of fresh air besides being outdoors helps to elevate my mood. As I begin to run, a slight breeze was catching the spray from a few nearby sprinklers as I ran by blowing a very cold mist over my face. The early morning traffic seemed unnervingly loud that morning or perhaps I hadn’t been this close to the street in a long time. I hadn’t been outside much without a razor sharp barbed wire fence blocking my view or anyone scrutinizing my every move longer than I cared to remember. I finished my run as usual in 30 minutes right about 6:30, and then I returned for my shower and shave.
After washing off, and grooming, I felt like a new man I stepped outside into a bright warm sunny and cloudless September morning. I thought boy this weather, how quickly things change. I took my first deep breath of air being totally free in nearly 30 years. I had committed a serious crime against myself, against humanity. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what caused it, I now realize and accept fault for coming up short [Romans 3:23]. I felt like some sort of a time-traveler on an endless journey leaving some dark place traveling to a whole new land . So I cautioned myself to proceed slowly and be patient. I realize I have a lot of work to do. But I feel like I’m well prepared. I knew I would feel overwhelmed, but everything would come in time. It was exhilarating to be outside, not surrounded by a fence. I walked out of prison this day, believing I am, capable of doing whatever it takes to keep my freedom and my sobriety, which is a necessary component of my freedom [1 Peter 5:8, Titus 2:12, 1 Peter 4:7, 1 Corinthians 15:34, Titus 2:2]. Although the process to get here was about giving up the old me [Ephesians 4:22-24] it was also a returning of sorts to a solid foundation, [Joel 2:12-13] before I got involved in all the glitz and glamour of me, someone I invented to impress others. It was a matter of peeling off all the dirty disgusting layers: the tough guy facade, the anti-authority, and shedding that old world mentality. Prison is but an empty time capsule, a dark black tomb where prisoners are controlled by a never ending supply of unfulfilled promises of gain. They gain nothing but wasted time, get older worn down until they are totally broken, then they rot away in an unfulfilled existence, suffering a miserable end, never realizing nothing around them ever changes the devices used to control them always remain the same [2 Corinthians 2:1]. Prison by design is set up for the keepers to keep the order which is deadening, on all levels.
I am eternally grateful that I no longer have illusions of who I am. I can truly begin to speak like the Apostle Paul and call myself a servant in Him [Romans 1:1] [2 Corinthians 4:5]. It has been nearly 15 years since the day I stepped out of prison, and although I’ve learned a lot I know I have a long way to go because it’s never over, the world beckons to me each moment of every day how it still wants me to play. But I’m free, and my family reminds me of that fact every day: I am constantly reminded that my priority is not on what I’ve missed, or what I wish I would have known, but in Him. It is in Him that I have a future of hope and promise for my family, for me, for us. We are able to live in a comfortable home; I have a decent job, and commiserate with a good group of friends. I am blessed with a beautiful and talented wife and loving children who know my past, and have the grace and benevolence to see me as the man I am now in Him. I drive the speed limit, well, most of the time, and I pay my bills, and taxes when due, and above all I pay my tithes to further the Kingdom of He who saved me from the darkness of myself. When I have a little extra left over, I drop that in the offering basket too, not because I have to but because I want to. I am blessed that I am free and get to give to such a worthy cause as Truth.