Chapter 1: It All Starts With God
Over the several months I’m going to be using The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren as my source. I have found the principles in this book very helpful in maintaining a positive focus. Though I haven’t read it since my men’s group, First Light, went through it in 2008 as part of our jail ministry I try very hard to use these principles in my everyday life.
The first part of this book is called, “What on Earth Am I Here For” this question has plagued me since coming back from Vietnam. Frankly, I had trouble understanding why I survived unwounded. While others who were very close to me in proximity were wounded or killed. One of our favorite shows in the 70’s was, “Barney Miller”. In one episode Captain Miller asked one of his detectives why the sperm whale the largest mammal in the world eats nothing but plankton. The detective replied that he didn’t know why. Miller said “because that’s the way it is”. I went on to explain that some things just are. Things just happened. And that’s the way it is. That answer worked for me for many years. But in the back of my mind I knew I needed more.
That’s The Way It Is
In early 2003 I let a small group through The Purpose Driven Life book. Going through this book made me realize that the statement, “that’s the way it is” is wrong. God has a purpose for each one of us. He can use everything in our lives both good and horrible to make us into better people. If we allow it. It is true we live in a sin sick world. We are a fallen creation. And each one of us has done things in our lives of which we were not proud. Sometimes terrible things happen to good people while horrible people seem to catch every break. It’s hard to understand. Yet, God is in control and has a plan that is being worked out in each one of our lives. But, having free will we have a choice to make. Do we allow God to use our circumstances both good and bad to grow us or do we allow them to destroy us?
It’s Not About You
The first sentence in the first chapter says it all, “It’s not about you.” That one little four word sentence has changed a lot of lives over the years. As one of the inmates said at our county jail men’s group, “What you mean it’s not about me? Making it all about me is how I lived my life.” And then he paused for a bit and he said, “Making it about me has landed me in jail and prison, it cost me my family, my three children, every job I ever had and is sending me away now for another three years in the state penitentiary.”
So, the question is – what has making it all about you gotten you?
Sgt. Allen Lynch
Allen Lynch is a former United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.Would you like help?