“This I Believe”…
Four weeks prior to my high school graduation, I sat in a cold cellar in Massachusetts with a friend discussing our futures. We were both poor and college was not an option due to family finances and high school academic success. We talked about joining the Mafia…as we just did not want to be poor any longer. I went to bed that night and prayed…or maybe just talked openly to God. Out came this reverence that I now hold to be “this I believe”.
One day we die, one day we go to Heaven and it is there that we stand before God and he asks; “Jim, I have given you X number of days on Earth, What have you done with them?” Starring up into the darkness and contemplating life and accountability changed my life and how I choose to live the rest of it. That night and what came from it has been the guiding light and my source of desire, motivation, and wisdom. I decided that night that I planned to tell God a great story.
I never joined the Mafia. I worked several jobs and graduated with an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University. I have spent the past sixteen years with a wonderful career in education. I have earned three masters degrees and am currently completing a doctoral program at Florida State University.
Standing before God and having to answer for my life spent on Earth was a “wake up call.” It was not that I was afraid of God, but more disappointed that I not take advantage of the life God gave me. “This I believe” changed who I was and who I would become.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.