Friday, November 5, 2010

Jim Brown to Richard Pryor: "What you gonna do?"

Jim Brown, Richard Pryor's friend, upon finding Richard struggling with the vicious demon of free base cocaine addiction, didn't scream at him nor preach to him, he simply asked what he was going to do now. I think at that point in Richard's life, it was do or die.

Those simple words "What you gonna do now" is my gateway to this post.

The view of life which is individualized within the core of a person, is inextricably rooted in the collective history of their life and those with a similar existence, with a special vantage point on life.  A vantage point that can make it difficult - in their eyes, unseemingly, and impossible - to take refuge in the comforting illusions or underlying assumption of society. But if life and personal history brings pain, it's also a source of strength, renewal and inspiration; a window on the potentials of the human spirit.

Having said that, I've come to believe the biggest insurgency to my domain - my unsettled mind - lived with me, it was me.  I allowed myaelf to build walls to reject the world, keeping it out, while inviting like minded individuals - just like me - inside my world of confusion.

Now, today I am going to speak on a subject that I seldom broach on this blog. I mean, I do, yet I've chosen to do it in subtle ways. If you look at the name of my blog CARRY ME HOME, some may recognize that as having a religious connection. Well, if you did, you're on the money.

See, when I first started blogging I didn't have a direction, purpose or goal in mind, but I knew I wanted to tell my story as a means of testifying - to the world- of the power of God's grace. However, being acutely aware of the evil eye and skepticism one may receive upon mentioning a God, I decided to just tell my personal stories of pain, shame and triumph, without preaching the words of God. It was my belief that if I did,  I might be preaching to the choir while turning off those that might need to hear my messages of triumph over pain and misery. More importantly, since I have not arrived, I did not want my blog persona, my propensity to use words and images (on this blog) that some would view as non-christian-like, and thus, use me as a vehicle to sling the arrows of "what about you and look at them" using me as the poster child for all that's wrong about religion, while turning away from the core of the message. And, there are wonderful christain blogs that do nothing but highlight the words of Gods, delivering his message much better than I could ever accomplish.

Nevertheless, having said all of that, one of my first posts was titled "What About A Time Called Now". It centered on how and when I made a conviction to turn my life around. It spoke of a time I was locked behind bars for a crime I committed. In short, I called my mother for help and she said, "Carey, I am done, I gave it to God".

Now, of course I didn't like that answer because I wanted a fast fix to my dilemma, and I surely didn't want to hear anything about God, unless he was prepared to post my bond and get me out of jail. But you know what, what about a time called now; here's where I am at today.

Had I not gone through my storms of life, I would not know God, nor how good he's been for and to me. There was a time, despite having made over 100,000 dollars a year, that I fell to a semi-homeless state.  I stood in a soup line with sadness on my face but gratfulness riding shotgun .  Had I not gone through, I would not know what God can do. He showed me that he was the encore. If I had to do it again (there's always a new storm a-brewin') I would because I can't be afraid, I have to trust him.

Some of my family and friends said I wouldn't make it, but God showed me that he saw the best in me and saved me for the best; the rest of my story. My song could not be sung had I not gone through my storms. I think many of us can sing "nobody knows the trouble I've seen/nobody knows my sorrow".  If we view a person solely from the perspective of what he or she  may have done(in the past), instead of the potential that God sees and has for them, we may miss the essence and the beauty of life.
What about a time called now? It's never too late.


Big Mark 243 said...

You know Carey, I am happy for you and your spiritual awakening that has led you to where you are right now. No one needs to ask you 'what are you gonna do?' because you made a choice and you are still benefitting from that decision.

Thanks for sharing with me your story of how you found what you needed. Take care and if I don't 'see' you before the holidays, have an enjoyable season!

Anonymous said...

Amen Carey! Without God we have nothing. I just wish all people in this situation would seek and find God so they can be healed.

2cute4u said...

Your is testimony is one that is encouraging, uplifting and inspiring.
Therefore, you shouldn't feel inhibited whilst sharing it cause a lot of people would love to learn from it and not go down that road or it would serve as leap of faith that it would be okay in the end..
I had a wonderful time reading this..

Anonymous said...

I just shared the Jim Brown/Richard Pryor story a few days ago to a friend is going through a difficult transition. I had seen that interview many years ago, and it made a huge impression upon me. I drew upon it when I was going through a difficult divorce, had 3 children and no child support coming in. I had surrounded myself with people who would rally behind me while I continued to complain "why me?, how could he?, and this is just not fair." But I soon realized that none of that gets you through the trials, it just keeps you from moving forward. I am on the other side now, six years later, and life is GOOD! The storms were an absolute necessity, there were lessons to be learned. Thank you for sharing this story!

CareyCarey said...

Hello Anonymous,

First, I just noticed that I never replied to the other comments. I must have been on the move.

Hello Mark, Desertflower and 2cute4others. I believe I've spoken with all of you since I posted this. Thanks for stopping by.

Anon, I was wondering who was reading this post (I can see the name of a city when someone hits a post but I don't know who they are (until they comment) or how the found this post. Several people have read it over the past week. I am wondering what's going on?

I am glad you stopped by. I never know who's reading my blog although thousands have dropped in over the past year. So I am pleased that you took the time to share your thoughts.

I particularly liked the following:

"I had surrounded myself with people who would rally behind me while I continued to complain "why me?, how could he?, and this is just not fair." But I soon realized that none of that gets you through the trials, it just keeps you from moving forward"

That's nothing but the whole truth. Frequently we ask the wrong people to lead us "through" and out of our storms.