I recall when I was young and trying to find my way. I would end each day staring into the emptiness of a purposeless life. It was haunting and so very vague. I grew up in a Christian home… well, a home of Christian tradition. What I found as I grew older was a not so fulfilling religion. It was hollow and filled with behaviors of goodness, but lacked genuine life change. I must admit it left me jaded. Like so many wanderers looking for answers, mine were not answered through Sunday school, church going or Hell Fire Preaching. I wanted a foundation.
It was my Senior year in High School. We were entering the final days of the school year. After blowing my knee out playing Basketball, I finally gave my leg the attention it needed with surgery and rest. Unfortunately, in the process, I became addicted to prescription pain killers and was popping pills like they were candy. It was May 6thand the last thing I remember was taking some pain killers at the water fountain outside my AP Humanities Class. The next moment I recall, was seeing stars as people surrounded me with tears and panic.
My thoughts were many. “What’s happening?” “Why am I laying in a field by the side of the road?” “Why are these faces looking at me with so much concern?” Then everything goes black… I awoke in the back of an ambulance. The ride was jarring. It almost felt as if I were broken in pieces. I could feel every bump and every turn. It was painful. And why couldn’t I breathe? It was such a struggle to breathe. I felt panic coming again and as it did the lights began to fade into blackness once more.
The next time I wake up, I am on a very cold table. The lights are so bright. “What is happening?”I hear a fury of voices, but my body is numb. I must be in the hospital. Some hours later, I was ina darker room surrounded by machines and beeping. The pain was overwhelming. I just wanted to die. But, in that moment I remembered the game I had been playing with my life. Remembering my church upbringing, the thought of hell literally scared me more than dying. So, while in a fog of pain meds; I asked God to forgive me of the fence riding I had been doing. I came clean and admitted I didn’t know what I was doing and or what life was about, but I wanted God to just forgive me and let me die. Strange, in a moment like that some would say, “if you’re praying to God, why not ask Him to heal you?” I recognized I didn’t deserve grace. I realized I was a punk kid who lived for the moment and himself forgetting about the consequences. Well, that is… until it counted. And I was more concerned with facing a judging God, than I was concerned about asking for healing.
However, what I found was a merciful God. Several days later I woke up and with very different perspective. I was told I shouldn’t have made it through the first night due to extensive internal injuries I received in a very serious car accident. Apparently, I was sent flying from my car through the rear hatch and some 40 feet in the air into a telephone pole. The doctors told me it was miracle I was alive.
I now had a different perspective… “I am here for a purpose, let’s find out why!” In a dark hospital room with me wanting to die, God reached down to where I was and provided an answer for my request. LIFE and even PURPOSE! We live aimless lives trapped from awareness because we don’t seek the God who made it all. It was clear to me right there when it counted I would meet my creator. I didn’t want to meet Him having wasted this short life on myself. He created us with purpose and for His joy. I came to find as I hope you do, I could not find my purpose apart from the one who created me. My purpose and your purpose are always tied to the One Who made all things. Don’t get detoured in life because of ignorance. I did, but by His grace I woke up.
Colossians 1:16 For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.
Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
Paul is a Christ Follower. He has been married to his beautiful wife Rebecca for twenty-four years. They have two beautiful children, a dog, two cats and a turtle. They love being together as a family and doing the adventure that is ministry. They love the outdoors and enjoying God's creation.