And Now for something Entirely Off Topic …
I started High School in 1982. That’s 37 years ago. That first week, we would walk off campus to the Catholic Church that was just a block up the street from our school. There I met a lot of people and the leader of a rag tag bunch of youth workers, who ran one of the best youth groups, the Miami Catholic Diocese had ever seen.
I would soon join this church. My parents were still excommunicated from the church for my mother choosing birth control after my brother was born in 1970, in Connecticut, because she was RH Positive and the doctors told her she could not have any more children, so she had a Tubiligation.
It was a really good thing my parents stopped at two, because I imagine what kind of abuse they would have suffered like I had in my life.
The church was not pleased at all. In my later years of High School, they would meet with the Pastor or this church and he would absolve them of their sins and welcome them back into the church fully.
But I digress …
Some of my BEST friends came from that Youth group. All of them have moved on in the world, I’ve only contacted one of them, and the others have no digital footprints. So I don’t know where they all are, but I wonder. Some of the best times I’ve had in my life were there, and I still have a handful of friends off Face Book that I keep in touch with on Messenger
This music reminds me of them from so many years ago.
Yesterday I was napping and my mental stereo was on and I was singing an old hymn that we used to sing on the world famous retreats that we used to go on, as part of this rag tag youth group.
I got up, and loaded my I-tunes. And I searched “The Imperials – and Petra” both of these bands are contemporary Christian artist of the mid eighties and early nineties. The other one was Children of the Light, “Come on in the Water’s Fine.” This song, would play as the dining hall was readying for diners who were waiting outside the doors.
This song would start as the serving team were standing on chairs clapping their hands to the beat, welcoming diners into the dining hall, it was ritualistic and the most amazing event I’ve ever attended.
For all those years we listened to a lot of Christian music. We went to concerts together with other parishes and other denominational churches like Old Cutler Presbyterian Church which was not far from home.
I was listening to my music I had loaded on my phone this morning while grocery shopping, and there are a handful of Imperials tunes that are sacred and special to me, and 37 years later, I am listening to the song and I am singing the words, as if it was yesterday …
I remembered every single word of every song I listened to.
That first year on retreat, we were introduced to Christianity, and turning our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him. I did not know that concept in tenth grade, but I do today, because I am sober.
Imagine a rag tag bunch of kids have just spent a weekend at a camp talking about Jesus, and on the ultimate Saturday night, there was an Altar Call and we all committed our lives to Jesus. We had gone to the mountain and met God, for the first time in our lives.
Then we had to come home …
Sunday night at church, I spoke to the congregation, I was sobbing uncontrollably because I’d never felt such love in my life as I had that weekend. And I had to carry that feeling into the world with me on Monday morning when I went to school, a New Christian Soldier.
What do you tell a rag tag bunch of kids who proudly carry their bibles into battle for the souls of your friends, and everyone is looking at you like we were all crazy. What did I know about proselytizing ?
My Satanic friends who believed in the Devil came out of the woodwork and the even threatened my math teacher and his family, that was not good at all. It was not pretty at all.
But we had to carry Jesus around with us for all eternity. It did not go as planned. Because I would love Jesus and Hate him in the span of just a few years when I would enter seminary and Love Jesus, and then by years end, when asked to leave said seminary, I hated Jesus more than I loved Him.
Now sober almost eighteen years, I know God. As I understand Him. I met and had a relationship with God through the human visage of Todd. He was the most sainted representation of God I will ever know. That man saved my life, and also, God spared me from death and suffering.
Why ? I have no idea, what made me so special to save?
You’d have to ask Todd that question.
Be Still my Soul and Know that He is God…
I remember how I stood and sobbed as I said the prayer that brought me into life with Jesus as a Kid. And now, when I say my Third Step Prayer daily, I say that prayer all over again, in different words, but the thoughts and actions are the same.
Every Day I commit my life to God in Sobriety, because He is in control of my life and my sobriety. And If I help one person in this life in the ways that Todd taught me to do, then I have done my job.
I have done that, and continue to do that daily, as I am able.