For twenty eight years I was a full blown practicing alcoholic and drug addict. I sobered up in Alcoholics Anonymous and through myself into that program as well. That is sort of the way it is with us all or nothing types. We liked to go all in all of our endeavors; all of the chips on the table, all the time.
When I threw myself into AA and recovery, I wanted to share this new found knowledge, discovery and way of life with my old drinking and drugging buddies. I found I only had a small window of time to spread this information before they would refuse to see me under any circumstances. The last thing a drunk wants to hear is a message about what he might be doing wrong. We sort of live with a lot of that kind of guilt and self condemning thinking.
I soon ran out of people I had known that I could talk to about my new found sobriety and proceeded to be a good practicing member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I wondered why so few of my fellows from my drinking days were interested in following me in this new path of sober living. It is very narrow path and few follow. In particular, the really hard headed and hard hearted addicted personality that I had become. So none or very few takers from the party goers into the ranks of sobriety due to my lead at that time. I wondered why.
After a couple of years practicing AA, I was thinking that somehow I might be able to drink successfully or certainly in moderation if I so desired. It was then that the person of Jesus Christ sat down beside me and explained that He had been responsible for me sobering up and He had a plans for me only if I remained sober. I was greatly impressed and soon became a Christian. I went about the Christian life with the same fervor, conviction and dedication I had practiced in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and in my long drinking life. I was all in and it was all or nothing.
Soon, I was evangelizing or wanting to evangelize my colleagues in AA, but to little avail. I could not understand why I was having so little success convincing others whom I had so much in common with, that this was obviously the way to go. I could see a natural progression of reaching bottom as a drunk, seeing the light of sobriety and then seeing the unveiling of the grand plan of love and faith in Jesus Christ. Why couldn’t others see this, I wondered?
My bible study teacher at the time was a former NFL line backer named Johnny Baker. Johnny was a straight talker and I was very open about my past life. I went to Johnny and explained and questioned him as to why I was able to see the truth and want sobriety. And none of my friends wanted it. Then I asked him why did I want to know Jesus Christ and few others would listen to me talk about it.
Johnny did not hesitate. He said to me, “You have a heart for God”. I needed no further explanation. But all I have is the reason why some do and some don’t want to trust Jesus as God, Lord and Savior. I still don’t know which ones will and which ones won’t.
As an evangelist by gift, I go out to find those who have a heart for God. You gotta have heart!
David Howell Prison Evangelism, Inc.
PO Box 571977
Houston, Texas 77257