As we prepared to start our meetings, one of the men sat and worked through a notebook of material. He took different documents out and spent time looking at them intently, kind of moving his lips to indicate that he was reading aloud, albeit very softly. He was studying.
This was a group of men in a place most people will never land. These men had struggled with addiction and had landed at this community center/half-way house. We were meeting to share life through the Word as part of the walk towards freedom from the things that had haunted them.
This man, the one studying, had been homeless in Dallas with a serious addiction problem. On his way to get drugs, he heard God. The whisper inside of himself said, “you have a choice right now.” It caught his attention and instead of keeping his appointment with another high, he diverted to meet a leader from a local ministry that serves that part of the community. The pastor he met with bought him a bus ticket to send him to this place the same day.
As the man shared, he told us that what he was studying was from one of the two community college classes he was taking. He is registered and attending and moving towards an associate degree. He mentioned that, in his 50’s, his academic skills and memory weren’t what they once were so he had to study extra hard to keep up with the “kids.”
More than anything, he talked of how these classes made him feel. He said he was alive. He wakes up energized, confident, excited and moving forward. He said that he has attempted recovery before but this was a major difference maker. These classes provided him something to focus on to move forward and feel good about himself. He woke up every day with a destination.
We require a purpose we are passionate about to live the way we are intended. When we lack that purpose, our focus inward all too often leaves us dissatisfied and increasingly empty. Our purpose gives us something to pour into which allows for us to be filled again. Without that flow, we grow stagnant and nasty. The flow refreshes our soul.
It all started with a word . . . “you have a choice right now.”