Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pep Talk: "Travel Advisory"

“I have been deprived of peace and have forgotten what prosperity is.”

It was a cool November evening along Colorado’s Front Range when those words were muttered. They came from a reserved young man - early 20‘s - living at The Crossing, a facility run by the Denver Rescue Mission. Heartfelt words. Delivered to an aging ol’ jock, in a dimly-lit area near where, in a few minutes, a bunch of knuckleheads, from all walks of life, would workout together. A Stronger Cord. It starts the workout. Sweating, bonding and challenging one another to grow stronger body, mind and spirt.

A tender soul was sharing from deep within. I was blessed to be witnessing it. Can you imagine, being deprived of peace and to have forgotten what prosperity is? Sure you can. Stuff. It happens. Rocks our world. The depravation of peace might arrive via illness, divorce, poor choices or whatever else ails us. Life. A roller coaster.

Anyway, hours later, I awoke early the next morning thinking of this dude’s words and remembered, “I’ve got laundry in the dryer.”

So it’s about 2:30am on a Friday. Sleepily shuffling from bedroom to laundry area on the second floor of our home, the trek takes this simple dude from Missouri right past pictures of the kids. One of them taken long ago. It’s a family shot. A single father and his two wonderful children. The kids are now 24 and 17 respectively. This photograph has to be at least a decade old.

I walk past it all the time. But it was different this time. I looked at me. Flanked by a son and daughter. The words, “I have been deprived of peace and have forgotten was prosperity is” seemed to be etched on my face. A quick check of the facts at the time a friend and talented photographer shot the portrait: recently divorced for the second time, long-held and cherished Denver television sports position as the “Buff Guy” eliminated. Self esteem lower than whale dung. A terrible trio.

I’m smiling in the picture but trust me folks, inside? I was deprived of peace and was struggling to remember what prosperity is. We all have been there and, in all likelihood, will continue to have moments threatening to take us there. Isolated in misery. Solitary confinement of the mind. It sucks.

What to do about it? We can’t buy into the lie that we’re alone in suffering. There’s many folks experiencing similar crap. Go find them. Engage. Rally around each other. Encourage. Give hope and confidence to one another. Set sail on a new journey.

Travel advisory: Don’t make the trek solo. These days it seems many disdain group travel. Not for this voyage. Be ready, willing and able to hunker down in a cabin with others. It might be bumpy. Deck chairs may fly. But once the storms pass, the sun will come out. Rough seas shall calm. Peace and prosperity can return!

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