Sometimes it’s good to remember where you came from and maybe even to return for a visit. It’s good to stop and appreciate what has happened vs. what could have happened and be thankful. Recently, I’ve had a couple of those times.
My son and I were driving past the duplex where I was living in 2001 when my cousin, Bryan, died and it shook me to my core. After years of fast and shallow living and knowing that I wasn’t on course, I pursued Jesus in that duplex. It was just me and my boxer, Tank, after years of thinking that if things were ever going to change I would have to first get everything cleaned up and go to church.
The landlords occupied the other side of the duplex and although I had not talked to them in 15 years, we stopped by and rang the doorbell. It turns out, the still live there and after an initial “what can I do for you,” recognition yielded to excitement. “I was just talking about you with my mom last night; I was just talking about Tank” she screamed.
I was there with my son but if there had been no meeting with Jesus such as the one which occurred in that duplex, there likely would be no son, or other son, or daughter or grandson or wife, all of which enrich my life now. I was shallow and selfish and spiraling in several ways. You don’t dabble in darkness without descending into it and I was increasingly engulfed in the consequences of my rebellion. Those circumstances were not particularly to a family and certainly not a healthy family.
Recently, I was sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in a coffee shop. I’ve written about it before, but it’s really an invigorating engagement with people who may or may not be in some similar form of shallowness or searching as I was in that duplex. Being invited into this marketplace gathering spot to share the Good News that changed everything for me and propelled me towards the capacity and ability to have a family and be a multiplier of that Good News is humbling.
Interestingly enough, I looked outside the window of that coffee shop and there was a boxer tied to a pole and the owners were coming in to get a cup of coffee. This boxer looked almost exactly like Tank and come to find out, as I talked to the owners, the dog was a rescue which was on a schedule to die if it hadn’t been adopted. I was on a schedule to die if I hadn’t been adopted, too. We are all.
It was me and a boxer as I met Jesus and here was this boxer as others were invited to be adopted by the Father by the sacrifice of Jesus. Maybe a coincidence, but I don’t think so. It’s good to go back to the beginning as the memories presents reminders that the present builds on.