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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Crime and Punishment (not about the book) (07/21/11)

TITLE: Don't Let Go Of the Plow
By darrell darden


Luke 9:62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”NIV
1stPeter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: KJV

Truly God has been good to me I thought to myself as I settled into the back seat of the shiny black Lincoln as it pulled off. I thought about the times when I couldn’t afford bus fare let alone cab fare. Those were days of drinking and drugging and taking my life to the edge of destruction. I thought back to all the crack houses and park benches, all the pain and disappointments.
As we sped toward our destination I seemed to drift further and further back in time. I thought about all the jobs I had lost and all the doors that were closed to me. The lying, the cheating and stealing caused by my addiction all came flooding back to me. All the pain of wanting to stop using but you can’t. The insanity of doing the same thing over and over expecting different results and finally hitting rock bottom and winding up on a psych. Ward.

I remember the night it all changed; there I was lying on a thin plastic covered mattress with no sheets. I was on suicide watch and I was at my whit’s end when I cried out “God if you’re for real please get me off these drugs and I’ll serve you the rest of my life.” Things started to happen after that. Christian men started approaching me out of nowhere witnessing to me and saying things like “God told me to give you my number, call me.” That never happened to me before and at first I just collected the numbers but after a little more suffering I decided to call this one guy who seemed to be genuinely interested in helping me, his name was James and we talked for hours and he seemed to understand me.
He invited me to his church and when the choir sang “The last mile of the way” I broke down and cried. Later after the preacher spoke about “dry bones” he gave the alter call and I went up and received Christ as my Lord and savior. I cried for a week.
After that things started to change. It began with this insatiable desire to read the bible and for the first time it was making sense to me. It wasn’t all easy I had to go into rehab But it was a Christian program this time and for the first time I enjoyed the structure and the accountability. Eventually I got into ministry helping other addicts and God blessed me with a good job and a fine Christian woman for a wife. I was a responsible human being again, able to keep money in my pocket and pay my bills.
“I love the Lord” I proclaimed to myself as my cab reached my destination, still I got out. As I walked toward the back of the building it occurred to me that I should turn around and go home but I quickly dismissed that thought and walked down the stairs leading to the basement. I told myself I just needed one to get my head straight after a particularly bad day at work. The “doorman” took one look at me and rolled his eyes as he let me in. “look who’s here! The prodigal has returned. I heard you got religion and all that, what you doing here?” “Shut up and give me two of those things” I said as I looked around for someone to borrow a pipe from. My hands were shaking as I slammed both bags into the pipe and took the first blast I had taken in five years. As I fell back into the chair my ears started ringing as my vital organs began to shut down, I grabbed my chest and tried to speak but only drool came out of my mouth. Just before everything went dark I saw a hand reach out and grab the pipe from my hand and as I slowly slipped away I remembered this scripture “the wages of sin…”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Amica Joy08/01/11
Shocking end! Good reminder to never think we are strong lest we might fall...
When you look at the story of the kings in the O.T. you get kind of depressed, seeing that many o them have a good 'godly' phase but mess it up toward the end.
This gives new meaning to the verse: "the last shall be the first." Very sobering: A good start is not enough. A good testimony of what God did when he first saved us is not enough. Finishing the race is what we need to focus on. Thanks for posting this.
Leola Ogle 08/01/11
Wow! This was a sobering read for me. I worked for 20 years in a Christian rehab and never, ever got used to those whom God had set free, and who had been free for a number of years, but chose to go back to that old life of drugs and alcohol. So many found dead, it broke my heart..over and over. But I rejoice in those that stayed clean and serving God, many more than chose to go back! This was a compelling story!
Noel Mitaxa 08/04/11
Graphically challenging, realistic material that keeps building up to a tragic end. More para breaks would have helped us to stay with it, without interrupting the momentum.