I’m in the process of re-writing my autobiography. I initially wrote it back in the early nineties. Until now it never seemed like the right time to publish it, but now I believe the time has arrived.
As I re-read the chapters which chronicle the adventures of a lost young man throwing away everything nature and nurture gave him and self-medicating his way to total despair I can’t help but think of all the missed opportunities and self-inflicted pain. Anything that should’ve meant something was discarded in a blind attempt to escape the pain of not understanding the world around me.
However, time and maturity have finally taught me that if I hadn’t taken every step I’ve taken to be here I wouldn’t be here. Instead I’d be somewhere else. And I know without a shadow of doubt that I’m standing exactly where God wants me, which is the only place I ever want to be.
At an early age I discovered History and my immature mind told me, “If you understand how we got here maybe you could understand here?” So I started reading History on a daily basis, a habit I’ve never lost. However as I gained a vast knowledge base I didn’t seem to gain any wisdom.
I knew what happened but the why always seemed to escape me. I just couldn’t figure out why bad things happened to good people and good things happened to bad people. A fact the study of History proves over and over. The drugs and alcohol I used to ease the pain of confusion didn’t help. I ended up thinking I should do bad things if I wanted good things to happen.
As a child I’d given up on Christianity the first time I heard about turning the other cheek. My young but already street smart mind told me, “If you do that the world is going to slap the taste out of your mouth.”
I thought ideas such as loving those who hate you, returning good for evil, and sacrificing yourself for the good of others was foolishness. Living like this seemed like walking backwards through a burning building. I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
At least not until I’d lived my life into a corner and came to the end of my rope believing there was no afterlife and nothing except what I could touch, see, or feel. I figured if this is all there is why go on, why continue living only to die. My life became a parody of the chorus from the song, Is That All There Is; “Is that all there is, is that all there is, if that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing let's break out the booze and have a ball if that's all there is.”
Luckily for me that isn’t all there is.
That’s when I ran into Jesus. I gave my burned-out useless life to Him and He gave it back to me all shiny and new. He gave me purpose. He gave me hope. He gave me a loving wife, the love of my life, who’s my other half in a one flesh marriage. He gave me the opportunity to know the joys of being a second-chance father and a stand-in grandfather after having all my own children aborted.
In my former life I did my best to destroy and throw away everything given to me. But, God works with what’s left. He takes the cinders and the ashes and makes them into something beautiful. Tears may come at night but joy comes in the morning.
Has everything been as smooth as silk and twice as nice since I’ve become a new creation? Not by a long shot. There’ve been trials and tribulations beyond counting and they aren’t over yet. At first I would pray for God to take this cup from me forgetting the second half of the prayer, “but not my will but yours be done.” Then I’d wonder, “Why do I keep going through the same things over and over?”
Somehow in my continuous reading of God’s Word I’d missed this part:
Even when we’re surrounded by troubles we keep right on shouting praises, because we know if we walk through these troubles hand-in-hand with the man who stilled the sea they’ll develop perfect patience in us. And if we learn to practice perfect patience this forges the polished steel of virtue. This virtue keeps living in expectancy ever on the lookout for what God will do next. Living in this kind of breathless expectancy, we’re never left feeling ripped-off or overwhelmed by circumstances. No, it’s just the opposite. If we’ll walk through our problems like this we can’t find enough treasure chests to contain all the blessings God in His mind-blowing generosity pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Still seeking after wisdom I spend every day pursuing the One who is wisdom, the One who is light and life, the One who is the Savior of my soul, the King of Glory who died and rose again. The ever living Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father, the One who sent the Holy Spirit to live in me.
If life doesn’t seem to make any sense, if we find ourselves going through the same things over and over let’s step out of the meaningless maze of carnival mirrors and find peace in union with God. Give it all up to get it all back. If we lay down our lives Jesus will show us how to live. Let’s stop fighting a war that’s already been won. Victory is found in surrender. It isn’t a matter of “Show me then I’ll believe,” instead it’s a matter of “Believe and it will be revealed.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
Why do I keep going through the same things over and over?
Salvation, Dr. Robert Owens, the good news, the Gospel, Jesus saves, filled with the Holy Spirit, help!, trials and tribulations