Life is only a long and bitter suicide, and faith alone can transform this suicide into a sacrifice. (Franz Liszt)
Don decided to throw in the towel and take his life. But that wasn’t all he was going to do; he made a list of all the people he was going to take with him. He made a diligent effort to include the names of everyone on his hit list that was responsible for helping make his life miserable. The hurt and anger he harbored propelled him forward, causing him to believe he had the courage to kill. As he contemplated a strategy one haunting thought tormented his mind. Could he deal with being locked up in a cage until he died, if during his killing spree he was taken alive? Spending the rest of his life in prison would be a fate worse than death. As he pondered his course of action Don changed his plan. He would allow those responsible for his misery to live.
As he planned his death, he felt sorrow towards the few people who really did love him, he did not want to see them suffer. But as Don contemplated what he was going to do he was able to shrug off those feelings, knowing they would get over their loss and get on with their lives. Nothingness, complete nothingness is what Don craved. The more he thought about death the more he longed for his miserable life to be over and fade away into the bliss of nothingness.
Before finalizing his plans he asked himself, “Was there ever a time when I was truly happy?”The answer was yes. The first twelve years of his life were awesome, but everything changed when his dad’s drinking problem spun out of control and he died from cirrhosis of the liver. One thing he did during the happy days was visit a church. During the services he remembered the people exuberantly affirming the minister, shouting and cheering as he preached. But he stopped going to church when his days began to turn dark. If God existed, he thought, He certainly was not interested in him, so it was time to end twenty-four years of pain.
Don put a gun to his head, and just when he was about to pull the trigger, a thought went through his mind, “What if being dead is worse than being alive.” He wanted to kill himself, but he couldn’t do it. He dropped to his knees, looked up in the sky through tear filled eyes and said, “God, I don’t know if you are real or not but if you are, I don’t see any evidence of your existence in my life. I promise to give you a 100% effort if you will just show up right now and give me a reason to live. I’m serious God, I will be yours forever. If not, then I choose to die.” Suddenly, a peace came over him like never before. It was as if God instantly calmed the angry waters troubling his life. He realized in that moment that God had been there all along, but he had not been there for God. Don made a commitment to Jesus, and from that day he has shared his story, reaching out and helping broken people find a reason to live.