Thinking back on my childhood, I don’t believe I dreamed about the future very much. My imagination wandered to less important things, like cartoons and music videos; He-Man and Rap City on repeat. There was no speculation, really, because I wasn’t forced to contemplate any eventualities. Or rather, those eventualities extended to only two outcomes: not going to prison and getting into college. Maybe I thought of it in comparison to other male figures such as my uncles or even my father. Many of my uncles on my mother’s side of the family had been to prison. Some were drug abusers as well. My father’s brothers didn’t seem to be much to look up to, either. Some just ran the streets, Olympian hoodlums, with several children, all born out of wedlock.
Remarkably, as I sit here, I am convinced that each and every person in my life has helped guide my life in a direction that lead me towards Christ Jesus. Though I have been an atheist and a Muslim, I am certain that they were but stepping stones to what I am today. The cause leads to an effect, see? To see the world as my enemy was probably something engrained in my psyche, so much that I rebelled against anything that was thrown at me, causing my beliefs to evolve. I grew up as a Baptist, in a Pentecostal Church, my grandmother singing in the choir and my great granny smacking me in the head so I could wake up and listen to the sermon.
I found most of the congregation to be hypocrites and lip professors that praised the Lord by day and slithered like snakes through the night. Bad juju. It was there that my faith was altered. Still, I inquired of my baptism to which my mother responded that she had not done. I took it upon myself one day to be baptized, at the age of 12, at a church that I knew little of. Their earnestness intrigued me, and I couldn’t refuse salvation, could I? That baptism was a blessing and I thank God for putting those people on my path.
I am almost 33, the supposed age of Jesus when he was crucified and I believe this will be a year of “resurrection” for me. Changes have destroyed me, built me up and rearranged everything I thought to be right and exact. But change, change is the only thing other than God that is constant in this world. I don’t expect my God to change because he is already perfect, but I know he expects me to change. This is why I don’t get that people go through life thinking that “this is how I am and I will not change, so don’t expect anything to be different”. Honestly, God requires a transformation of us, for it shows that we are new creatures in Him, right? Our hearts and minds are renewed by the coming of His Spirit.
Why would you want to remain as you are for the rest of your life? Why would you want to be stagnant and not grow up in the Faith? These years since I have left my undergrad I gained a great amount of wisdom through my experiences. My life is changed because of what I have gone through. I am stronger because of what God has allowed me to experience. It’s hard to regret anything because I love who I am. And with all my faults, I find that it compels me to try harder to be a good man. A good brother. A good son. A good lover.
I am on my way, Lord. Thanks for giving me another chance. Thank you for your Grace and Mercy. Thank you for your Love. I am in your debt.