There a joke about an American Indian I heard when I was a kid, called “Bowels No Move.”
There was an Indian, the joke goes, who refused to move his tepee when he was asked to move.
“Is Bowels going to move?”
“Bowels no move,” the Indian responded.
“Is Bowels going to move?”
“Bowels no move.”
This went on day after day, for several years, until one day when he was asked “Is Bowels going to move?”
“Bowels gotta move; tepee full of s***.”
Aren’t some of us like Bowels, when we continue with our destructive behavior, such as going on drunken binges, drug addiction, anger, resentment, nasty attitude towards others and on life in general and selfish, bad decisions that hurt ourselves and others around us?
Unfortunately, like Bowels, we stubbornly wallow in our manure — our self destructive behavior, until we hit rock bottom. I see people around me, some of them friends, returning again and again to drinking, drugs, and other self destructive behavior. A couple years ago, I fell into a pit after having continued in my wayward ways.
Once you start compromising your principles, and continue this way unchecked, you begin a downward spiral. It’s like falling into a black hole. You can be sucked into sin at warp pace speed but you don’t feel like you are rapidly descending, as you’ve turned off the control switch and become oblivious to what you are doing. You are out of control. Indeed, I was.
The impulsive, seize the day behavior continued, and the manure mounted in my tent. For the longest time, Bowels no move, despite loved ones asking me to come to my senses and think about what I was doing. But I persisted in my wayward ways. I was the Captain of my ship. Although I didn’t admit it, my rudder set me off course, losing my way.
I had abandoned my family.
Just before I almost completely lost my rudder, I lost my job of 12 years, my dog died, and I got into a fight with a psycho who was living at the house where I was living, who assaulted me verbally, then threatened me physically, spitting on me and closing in on me. I snapped and ended up grabbing my assailant and pushing her into some furniture. I was arrested and went home, where I was not welcomed.
My funds ran dry, and I sought assistance. I found the local Salvation Army food pantry. I struggled to get food. At night, my heart raced so much I almost called 911 for myself. Like the Prodigal Son, I had squandered my heritage. I was in solitary confinement at the bottom of a pit, wallowing in my own manure.
I was humbled, and still continue to be.
I ended up going to church at the Salvation Army Community Center, where I returned to God.
Psalm 40:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
Now starting to find my way, I found new friends, who helped me get back on the straight and narrow. I was hurting, and I was blessed to have people around to help and comfort me.
I could not afford the Internet at the house so I used the Wi-Fi at the local library. At the library, homeless people I recognized from the Salvation Army community meals invited me to other community meals. I was in the right place at the right time. I didn’t have enough food to feed myself and the community meals filled this gap.
I started hanging out with the homeless. Like myself, the homeless community is hurting. Society shuns them, as if being homeless isn’t enough, and some of them have addiction problems with which they are struggling.
People were there for me, and still are, when I was hurting. I want to be there for others. I get frustrated at how some of them continue in self-destructive behavior, as I have, but they have to want to change. When and how they do that is beyond my control. The Lord controls the horizontal; God controls the vertical… All I can do is try to help and be a good example.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.