Have you ever witnessed a shipwreck, plane crash, automobile accident or train derailment? Sometimes the carnage and destruction can be breathtaking and horrific. To set things right again can be time consuming, costly and exhausting.
Oftentimes we discover that we are unsuccessful, things are never the same again and loss and death are the result.
The most difficult job in the world is turning a life around. Because the essential nature of who you are-your thoughts, ideas, opinions, mores, culture and attitudes seem to be deeply embedded in a solid concrete vault with you alone possessing the only key to the single entrance.
Years of experience working with the homeless and incarcerated have taught me-- that feat is a lot harder than you would think. Furthermore, it will never happen until the particular individual comes into full agreement that a cure is necessary.
For those of us who are the offspring of King Midas, born with a silver spoon in our mouths, where life has always been smooth sailing, have found the light, have never experienced darkness, never battled addiction or poverty, it is easy to look down upon some poor struggling soul and blithely say, ”why can’t he or she get his or her act together.”
Habits, especially bad ones, are hard to break. We live in a world that has been given over to Satan and whose sole purpose and existence is to prevent you or I from achieving, experiencing or being good.
Coupled with our flesh, emotions and factors surrounding us it is not surprising that we do not make it out of the wilderness. The Promised Land remains an ever elusive dream.
On numerous occasions I have asked my charges, “why do you do it?” and “why don’t you change?”
The standard answer is and always has been “no good reason, just stupid I guess.”
There seems to come a time in life when logic and reason no longer prevail and your life becomes like biblical chaff bandied about by every prevailing wind that crosses your path.
The overwhelming tragedy is our lives are quickly filtering away like sands through the hour glass and we only experience it once.
It would be fair that we should learn from our mistakes and be able to go around again and do it right the next time.
Alas! That is not to be.
Some people never learn.
Some people never recover.
Some people die not having achieved their purpose and some people go to hell for all eternity.
Take this: “Tampa, Fla- Fifty year old habitual criminal found dead and unresponsive in Hillsborough County Jail.”
It may not be fair but it is what it is. You or I did not make the rules neither did we have any say in how they are implemented, but we have to live with them.
They are the same for everybody. We were created from dust, given a certain amount of time to accomplish our goal and then to the dust we must return.
Now that you are sufficiently depressed, I hasten to remind you that all is not lost. There is hope and you can turn things around.
Albeit challenging indeed, people have done it and so can you.
1. You must stop what you were doing that caused you to get into the mess you find yourself.
2. You must change the way you think, the way you see and not the way you look.
3. You must embark on a different path today and not tomorrow.
4. You must change your friends, acquaintances and even family members if they were involved in your downfall.
5. You must learn to love and appreciate your own company. If you have to go it alone for a while so be it.
6. You must not tire, relent, quit or falter always looking and pushing toward the prize.
7. You must try to avoid mistakes so you do not have to keep starting over because time is fleeting.
You are not getting younger. Your energy and drive are diminishing with age and one day you will run out of time.
8. You must cultivate and associate with people who are faithful, honest, positive, and traveling in the same direction so that you can help each other if someone happens to faint. Do not lie down with a Delilah.
9. You must be patient. Resist the urge to do everything today. Rome was not built in a day. You did not get into all this trouble in one day and it is going to take time to work it out.
10. You must trust God to have your back. You do not have eyes in the back of your head. You are not Superman and you cannot see, be and do everything.
Finally, keep your eyes open, looking straight on, your ears ever hearing, listening and paying attention and your mouth always shut.
Take a page out of the book of life about Adam and Eve. Do not tarry to engage in a conversation with the serpent, do not offer any explanation, do not eat of the tree and stay away from situations where you could be tempted in the first place.
Stop talking, sin is always lurking in a multitude of words---just do it.
V. Knowles is a husband and father with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.