October 6, 2009 § 10 Comments
On this past Friday Bradley Naidoo, one of my colleagues, suggested that we take the new men in our program on an excursion to Table Mountain. The purpose of this excursion was to get them away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky and no wind blowing. It was hot but enjoyable under the big blue, open sky. City life can keep one constantly busy and surrounded by the constant buzz of the city. In the mountains it is just you, God and His beautiful creations.
The idea of this trek to the mountain was to give them an opportunity to reflect and think about the life journey on which they have embarked. These men, like me, are former drug addicts. They have, however, been clean and drug free for a month now and this is the point at which job one for us is to facilitate their staying clean.
On our arrival at the foot of the mountain we unpacked the van and started up the mountain. We all enjoyed the beautiful day and basked in its beauty and calmness. One could not help but admire the beauty of God’s creations. The fresh water stream flowing down from the mountain all along the trial added to this picture perfect day.
Once we reached our destination the new men in the program were requested to go off alone and find a spot where they could sit quietly, reflect, pray and ask God for guidance. Those of us working with these men found our quiet spaces and did our own praying and reflecting. The time allotted for this was a half hour and at the end of that time they came back to us with feedback.
In my quiet time I reflected and prayed over the city, our city which is located at the foot of Table Mountain. I asked God that He bestow the same peace and grace upon the city, every youth in the city and our new recruits that He has so abundantly brought to both Bradley’s life and mine. Hearing the rush of the stream behind me, I glanced back and saw the stream flowing from the mountain top. It appeared almost as if it were flowing into the city. In that wonderful, peaceful moment it seemed to me as if the water was flowing from the throne of God. As I observed the stream my thoughts went to those words in my NIV Bible, John 7:37 that speak about streams of living water. There was no doubt in my mind that this was God’s way of telling me that this living water will flow into our city and bring healing wherever needed. This thought filled me with gratitude.
After the time of reflection and prayer the feedback from the new men in the program was most gratifying. Furthermore when it was time to leave the mountain, they did not want to go. .I fully understood their not wanting to leave because I’ve experienced that very thing. I know from my personal experience that when one finally gives up drug addiction and gets to know God, it is an eye opening experience, both figuratively and literally. Once my eyes were open to God I begin to see how green the grass is and how blue the sky is. Everything around me became so much more beautiful than it had been before and I began to fully appreciate all of creation.
Knowing we had exposed these new men to that same wonderful experience gave me a wonderful feeling. Not only had we shown them there is more to life than drugs, sex and rock n roll, we had given them the opportunity to be born again into a truly beautiful and fulfilling world.
As I think about keeping you up to date on the journey of these young men who have rid themselves of the slavery of drugs, I think about the title of this blog…Brent’s Journey. The idea of this blog was to keep you up to date on my personal journey. My journey has, however, become so entwined with the journeys of all those I help that my journey is their journey and theirs has, in a way, become mine. In God, we are all one.
May you stay always in God’s Grace, Brent