Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: googled (04/10/14)
TITLE: From Despair to Delight
By Tim Pickl
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I watch with a smile as my wonderful wife grabs our beautiful daughter's hand to cross the street to the child care center. Suddenly they are smashed and crushed by a drugged driver. <i>Just like that.</i>
I scream out, "Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!"
Oh, the heartache, the pain, the pain. I'm telling you there is no way to explain the grief that grips me, over and over again. I do not want to eat or work or sleep or...
I do not want to live.
What is the point of it all? Why should I keep on doing those things I thought were so important yesterday? What is the point of it all today? Depression covers my soul like s shroud. Between weeping I mumble to myself aloud. "Suicide?"
I find myself talking to myself or God or whoever will listen.
I do not want to do <i>anything.</i> Soon my house turns into messy piles of neglect; it basically reflects how I feel. Trash everywhere; dirty dishes and unwanted food stacks up in the kitchen.
<i>What a mess.</i>
Then one day I gave in to the nagging thought that wanted me to get drunk.
I reached for some alcohol to cope with my pain and I began to self-medicate. Soon, my mind began reeling along with my swaying body.
"I just don't care anymore. I don't."
I picked up my Android phone and looked at some texts from well-meaning so-called friends.
7:13 p.m. -- <i>sup? We miss u@work, dude.</i>
6:31 p.m. -- <i>Where u been? We got bowling tonight.</i>
"It doesn't matter... I just don't care."
2:38 p.m. -- <i>praying for u. pls call when ur ready.</i>
Then a turning point: I tried to delete the texts, but somehow I "accidentally" started up <i>Google Now</i>-the <i>Google</i> Personal Assistant. In my drunken, desperate state of mind, I cried out to God, "Why, God? Why? Why did this happen? Why did YOU allow this to happen? I just don't understand...I just don't get it. I can't keep doing this; I can't go on living this way. Look at this mess. Look at this crazy mess I've made of my life. My... God... please, please, please...save me, <b>HELP ME</b>. What do I need to do? How can I be saved?"
When I paused, my phone made a noise. <i>Google Now</i> had converted my question into text and then brought up a list of websites. <i>Oh no...</i> Then the thought crossed my mixed-up mind, <i>I have googled God.</i>
Then, when I tried to close out the list, I "unintentionally" swiped on a link to a YouTube video.
"I know many of you have been asking the question, how can I be saved? It's really very simple, but first you have to believe, like a child."
It caught my attention.
God spoke through that preacher directly to me. Captivated by the coincidence, I curiously watched the entire message. For no reason than I can explain to this day, I started crying. When he prayed at the end of the message, I repented and made the first baby step in the kingdom of God.
"Forgive me Father for I have sinned."
Jesus set me free with forgiveness and I felt such liberty. How could I deny giving this gift to the one whom I loathed?
After texting a few friends and making a couple of calls, I got the driver's phone number. I could have chickened out and delayed it, but I had to talk to him. When I called, he sounded concerned-even afraid. But after I told him what I had been doing, hiding in my house and how God touched me, he settled down.
He told me he had been in treatment for seven months and he was working through the program. He "coincidentally" was working on Step #9: <i>Made direct amends to such people whenever possible.</i> I asked him if it would be okay if I came and visited him at the Treatment Center and he agreed.
Four days later we met in the cafeteria. I admitted to him that I hated him for the longest time, but then when I was trapped in my mind in my house I realized that I was no better. In some way, I was at step 9 too. I forgave him.
We embraced and wept together.
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