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Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 1998


  Wash. Post


  Opinions Letters to the Editor Editorials Columns

Get High on Life

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / October 7, 1998

Someone told me a couple of years ago that the reason I was frustrated and critical was because I didn’t have an agenda. It made sense at thetime, but now I realize that the reason I was miserable was because I had an agenda, but worried about everyone else’s agenda. Today, I try to stayfocused on God’s agenda for my life.

This past Monday, His agenda for my life was planned by Him and, believe me, it was interesting and exciting. Monday morning, at 7 a.m., I received acall from a mother about her 17-year-old son who was on drugs. I agreedto meet with them at McDonald’s at 8 a.m. The young man was a highschool dropout, working on his G.E.D., and admitted to using drugs. I foundout that his father had used drugs for many, many years and that his mother raised him by herself.

The meeting was really good. I expected to meet an arrogant, rebellious,young man, but instead I met a well-dressed, almost polite, young man. Hismother, a Christian, was a pretty lady who just wanted the best for her son.

He admitted to listening to a lot of vulgar rap music. I suggested that hestop listening to his music, because it sends messages that are detrimental to him being the man God intended for him to be. We prayedand agreed to meet again later this week.

My next appointment was at 9:15 a.m. at the Holiday Inn. The person I metwith was the son of an old friend of mine. He was 28 years old andaddicted to crack cocaine. We visited for 45 minutes.During our meeting, he admitted to believing in God but, defensively, said that he had not been to church in a long time. I said, “That’s good!” Hesmiled and asked, “Why did you say that was good?” “The reason being,” I said, “is because you’re living like there is no God. If you went to church,you would only be mocking God. God much prefers where you are than beinga hypocrite.” I then asked him if he died today, would he go to Heaven orHell? “Heaven,” he said defensively. “What makes you think you’ll go toHeaven?” I asked. “Because I’m a good person,” he answered. I laughed andsaid, “Let me tell you something. You’re not any good.” He laughed andasked, “Why do you want to say that?” I answered, “Because the Bible says that there is not one good among us. In fact, it says that the heart ofman is wicked. That’s the reason Jesus came, and suffered and died, to paythe price for all our sins.”He listened as I shared about a personal relationship with Jesus. He waslike a sponge and soaked up every word. He said, “I’m not very religious.” “God hates religion,” I said. “He only wants a relationship with you.”We hit it off pretty well and he agreed to again meet later this week.

I prayed with my friend’s son, hugged him, and told him he now knows the truth. The decision he makes from now on is up to him.From the Holiday Inn, I went to my 10:15 a.m. appointment at Shoney’s. (Ilike to spread my business.) The couple I met with was from Springfield,La. The man was 25 and addicted to drugs. They had two children. I askedhim if he belonged to any religion. He said that he was raised a Mormon.They wanted to know about a Christian program called “Teen Challenge.” Iexplained the 14-month program in Hot Springs, Ark. I told him that TeenChallenge was a Jesus-centered program that would contradict some of the teachings he grew up with. He was still interested.”The only thing I know is that I’m miserable,” he said. I agreed to set up adate for him to go to Teen Challenge. At the end of the meeting, we heldhands and prayed.

Monday morning was exciting for Harold Keller! I’m glad I didn’t have an agenda. God did a better job of arranging my day.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur

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