There’s an old Bruce Springsteen song called “Glory days” that tells the story of running into an old friend in a bar and all he wanted to talk about is what some call “The good ole days.” Do you think that’s a sign of getting old? While I understand the attraction of being pulled into another place and time when talking with old friends; why aren’t we living right now?
There is nothing I would take for my youth, or the friends or experiences I’ve had, but at the same time I don’t want to miss the life I’m living right now either. The past is as good as it’s going to get. What do you say we learn to live in the present full of the hope of a glorious future?
Who are you right now? You may have identified yourself as a great athlete, writer, singer, carpenter or friend but what about now? What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Who is in your life right now that you are helping along the way? When was the last time you encouraged someone else and told them what God has done in your life?
Tracey recently came across a journal, or diary, that documented our lives together from around 1992 to 2001. Wow! To hear some of what went on during my B.C. days is kind of tough, and yet I thought I was having the time of my life. Boy, was I deceived. As she read some of the entries to me I must admit it made me cringe. To hear about my outlook on life back in my addiction days is painful, and somewhat embarrassing, if I’m honest with you. Thankfully God saw fit to intervene, open our eyes, and reveal the truth to us.
Last night we went to the women’s prison to share our story and teach the Word. Tracey shared a bit about the diary and how messed up we were. There are many who never knew us back then and they seem to think we’ve always had it together. Well, thanks to Tracey they know better now! She spilled the beans and told them we all go the wrong way first but thank God he shows us how to get back on the path if we’re willing to receive his direction.
When my turn came to speak I began by reading Titus 3:3-7 to them. “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Sometimes the best thing you can do for others is to simply tell them how much you’ve messed up in the past. It is amazing how encouraging it is to others for them to hear how you screwed things up too. Then you can take the opportunity to tell them how God turned things around. Once God comes in to your life, you will begin to take glances at your past, but you will finally be free to live in the present and begin looking forward to the future.