I find myself witnessing a new day. After months of what felt like stumbling to find my way, the evening that lasted far to long has pealed back. Light finally broke the horizon revealing a path that has never been clearer. Four months from now I will be on the World Race. I look forward to sharing more with those that are interested and even encouraging others as they are in their evenings, waiting for the light to break. Since this my first entry I felt it’d be fitting to write about a time where light came into my life, shined on my face, and was found. In February of 2003 I was looking for meaning,this was how I found it.
The soundtrack for my life at this point was an accompaniment of faint breaths coming in and out of my nose joined by the muffled rhythmic sounds of fabrics rubbing against each other. Providing the foundation of this musical score was the ambient noise of my footsteps reverberating within the halls of the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. As for the speaker’s words, they were looped – replaying in my mind with every stride.
“If this is you, come down.”
If somebody were to tell me prior to this night, I was going to be rushing through tunnels, people, and rafters to get to the main floor of a Christian seminar, I would laugh at them profusely. Now, if they told me that at this event I was going to devote the rest of my life to someone that I can’t even see or audibly hear, I would insist they keep their insanity to themselves. A few minutes ago, rushing from the balcony of the auditorium to the main floor, was the furthest thing from my mind; instead I was caught up with my past, revisiting eighteen years in a matter of minutes. I was in hiding for a large part of my life, like a child buried in the cupboards playing a game of hide-and-go-seek. I hid behind my possessions, behind a dismantled concept of family, and behind friendships that seemed to change as often as the seasons. Nervous, anxious, and pensive, I concealed my self so well that eventually I didn’t even know where I was anymore. However, on this night I was found.
Nearing the staircase I know there had to have been people in front of me, even though I don’t remember seeing anyone. The halls, in light of my state, almost seemed to not have been there. When I come to think of it, if I didn’t have any prior knowledge to the layout of the arena I wouldn’t be able to recall anything else aside from the fact that it had roof and was made of concrete. I was running with a purpose, my peripherals had been stripped from me and I was left only with a single destination.
My family’s idea of conversation were the brief comments that laced the program that was on TV during meals. Between the lack of assurance set by my parents, a dog sinking his teeth into my face at the age of 12, and the effects of a defining period of transition from childhood to adolescence, the self-perception I was portraying was as empowering as a nine-volt battery is to a car. My ex-girlfriend, is the best example I could give to capture the way I treated the relationships I had with others in my life. We met around the time I finished my first semester in college. In all honesty I didn’t realize it till after this event, but I wasn’t really attracted to her. There were moments that I did feel affection for her, however that was overshadowed by my selfish ambitions for being complete. Those ambitions brought on dissatisfaction that seemed to occur on a weekly basis as I pursused pleasure instead of purpose. I was grasping for the wind.
Going down the staircase to reach the lower level of the arena happened all together to quickly. The base of the staircase led to the main lobby; (which through guidance of the event staff working that night) I was able to find the path that led through the lower bowl to the main floor. My anticipation was increasing and the eagerness to reach the floor was heightening. Getting to the entrance of the lower bowl, I quickly went down the steps and I unexpectedly became still. Ambient swells of pads played by the worship team on stage set the tone for the speaker to continue his altar call.
Like a buoy in an ocean, I was tossed to and fro in a storm of emotional states. With every passing week, it seemed as though the dissatisfaction I felt with my girlfriend prevailed over my ideals. I ran from these thoughts by progressing the relationship physically. However, emotionally the relationship was digressing. This pattern eventually culminated to the loss of my hope for finding balance in the midst of the chaos I found myself in.
A bubble rushing towards the surface of the ocean goes through something similar. Outside it’s element and struggling to get to where it belongs it barely holds together. It resists the outside pressures that its journey entails, until finally it reaches its destination.
Everything seemed as if it were on pause as I walked onto the main floor, all you could see were people positioned like a king’s loyal subjects, bowing before his throne. “I finally found truth”, I thought. My muscles began to tighten. With my breathing intensifying, I realized that there is a reality that is greater than myself. I realized that God is wholeness and everything that this world has to offer is meant to compliment his splendor, not take the place of it. I realized that only in him I would be able to experience the kind of life I have long sought after ever since I could dream. I crouched on my knees, laid my face down, and stretched my arms across the floor with my palms pressed on the cold hard concrete. After 18 years, the bubble finally broke the surface. I finally found truth.