Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Selfishness

For a few weeks I have been checking Connecticut's DOC (Department of Corrections) website.  I had been hoping to find a name listed there, which would mean that this person was incarcerated.  It had been a number of days since I checked, so I decided to look once again.  I was overjoyed to find the person I was looking for listed there!

What is with me?  Why would I be glad to discover that someone that I knew was locked up?  Do I have something against someone?

Let me explain.

Finding that this person was locked up meant that he was still alive.
This young man is someone that I got to know at a local rehab. 
A few weeks ago someone brought drugs into the building and my friend gave into the temptation. 
Thus out he went.
Out into the streets where the level of tempation is racheted up quite a bit.
It is not uncommon for someone who relapses to overdose.   Back out on the street they begin where they left off, at the level of drugs they had been using.  That can be lethal.

My heart broke when I heard the news.  It broke for all eight that were no longer there.  I had spent time with each one of them to one degree or another, yet this one young man had really opened up his heart.  He was hungry to learn about Jesus.  I saw real change happening in his life.  Joy was awakening in his soul.

So how did this happen?
Just as it can and does for each one of us. 
We all have our weaknesses, some are more evident and some are extremely destructive.  It only takes a weak moment and the enemy jumps at the chance to take us down.
We are all vulnerable, but with Christ we have a protection and a strength that is far beyond ourselves.  We need to rest in it, in Him.

I wrote my friend as soon as I had an address for him. Wayne is his name.
What did I tell him?  A number of things.

First, that God still had a good plan for him.  That all of us are hopeless without Jesus, but with Him hope abounds!
Secondly, I encouraged him to want recovery for himself.  He was focused on recovering for his mom's sake.  Not good enough.

I had heard that the program is a selfish one and for a long time I didn't understand. 
I do now.
Unless we want to be well, to be free of whatever keeps bringing us down, so we can live the life that can be ours and be whole, then we won't get it.  It is the only motivation that can succeed.
Turning to the LORD God is for our own benefit.  If we want the best for ourselves, we do it. 
That's selfishness in a good light.

Finally, I encouraged Wayne to abide in Jesus.  To abide is to dwell, to rest in, to make your home in.
When we make Jesus our home we are then surrounded by peace and love and wisdom. 
He will direct our path, our every step.
That is what I hope and pray for Wayne.
That is what I hope and pray for everyone.
May our lives be marked with this good selfishness!

In with my letter I included a self-addressed stamped envelope and writing paper.  Hopefully, he will use it and write me back!

On another note, Ray and I are going on a road trip!  We head to Virginia tomorrow morning for a family wedding on Saturday.  We return home Monday evening.
Mindy asked if I was excited.  It isn't the word I would use.  I wasn't sure how I was feeling.  Until this evening...

Matthew, the ultimate tree man loves to come home from working on trees all day on our trees!  Today was no different.
He invited his father outside to help him. 
Out came the lawn tractor pulling a wagon.
Up on the tractor went Ray with help from Matt.

Mindy commented how "cute" Ray looked on the tractor.
With that comment I knew what was going on in my heart.

Yes, Ray looked "cute" just like his father did when we let him have a ride on the tractor. 
His father was eighty-seven!
The accident has left my husband more like his elderly father than like the man he was before that car pulled out in front of him.
I want to go to this wedding with my husband!  Not his father!!

Okay.  I got that out now I can more on.
I get it out and then refuse to dwell on it.  I choose to dwell on Jesus!
It isn't healthy to get stuck in such places.  It would be bad selfishness!
And I am too selfish for that!!

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