Life can be complicated and hard, like a maze that leads nowhere. Andrews path has led him through the loss of family to foster care, delinquency, drugs and now, prison. But he has learned the truth he was taught by his adoptive parents, that there are really only two ways.
“Obey the voice of the Lord your God… This commandment… is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it… I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.” (Deuteronomy 3011-15)
As Andrew’s heart has softened he not only understands this for himself but is anxious to pass it on to others. In his most recent letter he says, “It has been on my heart to reach out while I can and while the Lord continues to work his miracles in me.” He included a “Letter to the Troubled Children of America.”
To the Troubled Children of America
“First things first. Many of you are not alone choosing crime, alcohol or drugs due to the circumstances of your pain. These are ways people have been coping for a very long time; not unusual or uncommon for our society or its leaders.
“I strongly advise you to pray and urge you to think about the choices that you may make while you still have your freedom. The simple truth is that our culture has been flooded with young adults experimenting with different ways of dealing with stress and constant pressure. I’ve been there along with hundreds of thousands of other criminals: movie stars, rappers, successful people and poor people. These prison walls do not discriminate!
“We cannot stop crime but you can as an individual. You are the only one you can control. This cycle must stop. Please think about how much better our society could be without criminals before you become one.
“I offer these words of advice:
- If you are experimenting with drugs or feeling lonely and depressed, get help!
- Listen to friends who care about you. Keep a clear mind. It’s never just about you.
- Love others the way you love yourself. Above all love God for God is love.
- Be kind.
- There is help, there is always help if you’re willing to take it.”
Could it be that the path God has for us is not so much a maze as a map that leads us to give up ourselves and depend upon Him? Andrew would say, “The choice is yours.”