Paths always denote direction to me and direction is something I have not always had. There are specific periods of time in my past when I wandered from interest to interest, fad to fad and feeling to feeling with absolutely no good works done, no good word said and certainly no good life led.
One particular evening, my path was up the stairs to a bar that I knew well. I was 21 years old and full of pain, rage, confusion, depression, bitterness and resentment. I felt like a loaded gun without a target, so up the stairs I went. Yet another relationship had just ended and I was ready for some release. This was a ritual I repeated on a nightly basis. Walking expectantly into a bar, finding nothing but the bottom of several bottles and wandering somewhere else (home or someone else's home) until I awoke in the morning with the four horsemen of terror, bewilderment, frustration and despair that seemed to gallop through me on a daily basis.
That night ended similarly, except I ended up in the hospital with self-inflicted wounds on my left hand and wrist... 22 in all. My friend had driven me to the hospital and when the doctor asked me what happened, I didn't answer. The doctor said "If you don't tell me what happened, I will put this down as a suicide attempt."
At that moment, I said the most honest thing I had said in years. I said, "I don't know what it was, but I know what it wasn't. I don't want to die." They patched me up and sent me home with a prescription for Tylenol (which I never got filled). I never drank again.
That turning point made me rethink the path I was on. It was at that moment that I turned around and began to walk on a spiritual path. I knew the path that I was on would only result in death, institutionalization of some sort and possibly jail. I knew it in my heart. I knew it all along. I just didn't know how else to live.
Two years later, having been on a quasi-spiritual path and not really knowing where I wanted to go, I ended up in a home Bible Study with my neighbor who was a minister. In another moment of despair and pain, I finally stopped fighting and accepted Jesus into my life.
Jesus said Follow me. Have you ever noticed how many "walks" are mentioned in the Bible? Walking in love, walking with Christ, walking in peace... the list goes on. But in order to walk, you must have the path. I was very good at walking my own path of destruction. I want to be even better at walking the Lord's path of life.
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