(Shared the following message at a half way house to encourage the ex-convict brothers who are struggling with being accepted by society.)
At 39, I was at the pinnacle of success. I just had it good for only the next 2 years and Jesus asked me to give up everything to follow Him. He just came abruptly and “ruined” my life of living in dissipation and fleeting happiness.
I doubt St Paul would give up his illustrious life as a Pharisee without a Damascus encounter. So was I without the 911 encounter.
Unlike the rich young ruler, but like St Paul who had more confidence in the flesh than most in Jewish society, I had to settle for a life in which I had to “suffer” now living as an exile and serve as a fool for His sake instead. Before, I was so well respected, had no financial worry, and lived in real creature comfort.
After which I began life in a new kingdom stripped of all such encumbrance but with a different peace and joy altogether :
From a life of meaningless existence to meaningful existence,
From a life of vain perishable pursuits to a life of meaningful imperishable pursuits,
From a life of vain hope to a life of real hope,
From a life lived eternally in self-scentedness to a life lived eternally in perfect love,
From a life eternally alienated from my Creator to a life eternally reconciled with Him,
You can say I chose to be Lazarus with no “quality” of life rather than the Rich Man.
You can also say I chose the reproach of Christ over the treasures of “Egypt”.
If Christ had not risen, just as St Paul said, I will be among men the most to be pitied. I should just eat, drink and be merry. I chose to imitate St Paul as well in many areas as he imitated Christ our Lord. I counted everything as garbage to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ our Lord.
Hallelujah ! He had risen and is coming back soon for us !