I love doing these columns, primarily because deep inside me, they seem to more strongly align me with God.
In the creation process, the works invariably inspire me to try harder to understand how I may fit into God’s plan.
And that’s extremely uplifting.
But writing these opuses also has a way of leading me to look back into the past and recall some often fond memories.
That in itself, too, seems to have a hugely exhilarating affect, especially when the memories tend to illuminate a path to God.
Ah, those memories: sometimes they can come from so far back in the past and yet feel as if they were fashioned just yesterday.
When they are like that, they invariably seem to open more insight into the present.
That clearer look into today also always seems to help me grasp more of God’s messages.
And that helps me, as it does, receive and respond to more of my divine marching orders.
Take this piece that is unfolding in the midst of a particularly violent week in which two mass shootings have caused many deaths and spread much suffering and sorrow throughout our nation.
Even as a longtime struggling Christian, I find it extremely hard to come to grips with the senselessness and evilness of it all.
Oh surely I know that Satan is huge motivation in all of it.
But for the Christian life of me, at times, I just can’t accept that we people do stuff like this.
And for that very same life of me, I still find it hard to accept that we, who follow Jesus must pray for the perpetrators; and we must be ready to forgive them; and we must even help find a way to bring them to Christ.
I still, at times, can’t find it in myself to keep believing that there is still hope for everyone breathing in this world.
I still, at times can’t keep from thinking that there are just some sinful acts for which some people can’t be forgiven and there are some people who will never come to Jesus.
Ah, but in the writing of all this, my memory gets jogged.

And suddenly, as if yesterday, I’m in the back of one of my old childhood hangouts.
There, some rebellious pals and I are putting together some loudly exploding fireworks guaranteed to wake up the neighborhood.
We’re also preparing to go jump a few neighborhood punks just to show them we’re tough.
In my mind, I’m also mulling that “they’ll never catch me in church tomorrow (a Sunday) – that’s for sure.”
Yet, here I am today, a member of Jesus’ church for more than half my life now.
I know now, too, that God doesn’t categorize wrong doing – to Him, a sin is a sin.
He wants me to stay away from judging others and to stand ever ready to forgive all.
I know most of all, too, that God wants me to love everyone and to always strive to be like Jesus.
He wants all of that for all of us.
“Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths” (Ps. 25:4).

Ozzie Roberts

August 11, 2019