Listening to Bruce Springsteen’s song “Glory days” the thought occurred to me about calling the past “Glory” days. Why is it that we tend to think of the past as if they are full of glory when today is pretty glorious too?
Anytime I talk about my past it tends to involve three basic ingredients: drugs, alcohol and rock music; not necessarily in that order of course. It seems everything revolved around the party. There is no telling how many conversations I’ve had where remembering things we had done involved remembering what drugs or alcohol had been consumed. It would go something like this,
“Do you remember when we …?”
“No, I don’t think I do.”
“You know it was that night we drank all that …”
“Oh yeah now I remember.”
While those times were fun at the time they hold nothing compared to my life now that I have embraced walking in the Spirit. Now I have no problem remembering things I do and besides I’m sure the things I do now have more eternal significance. So I thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane just a little ways and think about all that God has allowed me to be involved in since being born again.
Early on in my Christian life I had the privilege of knowing a man, Willie Morgan, that had spent 14yrs in prison. He had been released before I met him, but he made an impact on me right away. He had finally given up all the way and knew his life was God’s life. Since I’ve known him he has owned his own business and became an ordained minister. Not bad for an ex-con huh? He’s the one who married Tracey and I the second time. God is so awesome!
Allow me if you will to back up just a minute here. When Tracey and I were married the first time we received wedding gifts that were appropriate for the life we were leading. We were actually given three different kinds of pot for wedding gifts and spent our honeymoon in a five star hotel on the beach in Clearwater Florida. The reason I’m telling this is because I want you to see the contrast. The second time we were married we spent it sleeping in separate rooms in a shelter in Atlanta Georgia.
The second time we were married I had been born again and my life was completely given over to what God had in mind for us. We went with Willie and about 14 others to stay for a few days in downtown Atlanta. It was sort of a mission trip. We ate at the shelter, helped feed homeless people and ministered to old and young alike. I can honestly say that trip changed my life forever. I have never been so thankful for my own car, house, food, family etc.
It wasn’t too long after our trip, Tracey and I became involved with the youth and children at our church; we worked vacation Bible school and taught youth weekends. Teaching the Bible to young men over a weekend set apart and doing scavenger hunts was quite a fun time and once again I came away thankful.
We were involved with a ministry called “Kingdom Core” involving youth age kids that leaned heavy on discipline and order. The youth would go out into neighborhoods and pick up trash. Then we would send them out two by two knocking on doors and telling people about Jesus. Since I was quite a bit older than these young adults I fell into the role of chaperone. Of course I hadn’t been saved all that long myself, but I was game for anything. The children were told “Do not go inside anyone’s house without talking to your chaperone first.” Of course I didn’t expect to have to do anything just sort of watch them from the street. What do you know the very first house they went to was an old man who wanted someone to pray with him and guess what? It fell on me.
As I approached the house the old man asked me if I would come in for a minute. I went inside and he told me his wife was in a nursing home and she wasn’t doing well at all. I asked him if his wife knew Jesus Christ and he said, “Yes.” I’m not sure what else I told him but I just asked him if he wanted me to pray with him. He said, “Yes” so that’s what we did. We prayed just a few minutes and as we left he seemed to have been comforted. Meanwhile I was flipping out because I had never prayed with a complete stranger like that before. What I walked away with that day was the knowledge that sometimes others just need us to agree with them and reassure them God is still in control.
Let me end with a few more quick stories. My Pastor came to me and asked me if I would like to go to the Prison with him. I didn’t have a clue what that entailed but once again I was game for anything. I thought if my Pastor thinks its okay then its okay with me too. Tracey and I went and I immediately felt like that was where I was supposed to be. At that time it was a men’s prison but since it has been changed over to women. Tracey said she would be kind of nervous standing in front of all those men but now it’s my turn to be nervous in front of all those women. Since then Tracey and I have been teaching an adult Sunday school class and have become involved in ministry in our local jail too. Of course at the jail only men minister to men and women to women so we don’t get to be together but that’s okay we enjoy every minute of it anyway.
From now on I want to think about these things as the glory days, at least until the real glory days arrive. You know the days when the whole world recognizes Jesus reigning in his proper place from the throne. At that time there will be no need of homeless shelters, nursing homes, jails and prisons. No, we’ll be living in an atmosphere where there will be no locked doors, fear, poverty, sickness or death. That is the Glory days I’m looking forward to. How about you?
Written by Louie