Finding the way back to you lord

When I was growing up, I heard a story about a young man,
who seemed to have everything going right for him..
He grew up in a loving home, with two wonderful parents, 
his father was a devoted Baptist minister, and his mother was a 3rd
grade teacher for the local neighborhood elementary school.

Tony was the boy's name ,in his early years he was a very bight boy,
he always made the A B honor roll.
he played all kind of sports, foot ball base ball, hockey, and ran track,
and he was such a polite young man.
he went to church every Sunday morning and evening, 
and every Wednesday  night
he had give his heart to the lord at 6 years old,
and could tell you anything you wanted to know about the bible.

then about the time he started jr. high school, 
Tony started to change he would miss church more and more.
he started to stay out till all hours of the night and he began dressing different 
and would hardly talk to his parents, or any of his church friends.
he was like a different person, his mom and dad became worried and tried talking to him,
but it always ended in a shouting match and Tony storming out the door.

the boys he was hanging out with were older and Tony's dad didn't like that ,
they argued over it one afternoon
his dad said said those boys are trouble Tony,  you need to stay away from them.
but Tony just got mad and shouted just stay out of my business dad,
and then stormed out of the house , his dad yelled you come back here young man,
we're not finished talking yet, and Tony yelled back, we're finished old man ,just leave me alone.
and then he was gone, and this time he didn't come back.

Tony's parents were so worried, it had been two weeks and they hadn't seen or heard from Tony.
his mom cried and cried ,she said  where did we go wrong, how can he just change like this
his dad held her in his arms and said, it's not our fault honey, 
we taught him right from wrong that's all we can do.
it's those so called friends of his, they have changed him, i am afraid that drugs are involved,
what else would  make him act this way, all we can do is pray and ask god to keep him safe.
Thatís all we can do, it's all up to god and Tony now.

in the mean time Tony was living in the woods in an old tent near an orange grove
he looked years older then he was, the drugs had a hold of him bad.
he was breaking into to houses and cars with a group of boys to seal things to sell
to make more money for drugs, how his life had changed in the last year.
he went from a nice church going guy, with loving parents and a good home.
to being a homeless bum, stealing any thing he could to get his next drug fix.

one night a bunch of the guys got together ,and robbed a liquor store downtown,
and bought some drugs and got high, then a fight broke out between Tony and one of the boys.
Mack was his name he accused Tony of steeling his money and the fight escalated
to the point that Mack pulled out a gun most of the boys scattered, they knew that Mack was crazy.
And they didn't want any part of it, but Tony was so high and he wouldn't back down
the argument went on for a while, then Tony said listen Mack, I didn't steel your money.
And I don't want any trouble, so Iíll just go, Tony turned to leave and Mack fired the gun.
The bullet hit Tony in the back of the head and he fell, that was all that he remembered.
Mack and the other boys were sure he was dead, so they drug him over to the orange grove
and they left him there.

Tony came to and tried to move but couldn't, he had lost a lot of blood.
He looked around, but it was dark and he couldn't see much of anything.
he called out to the guys, but they had all left thinking Tony was dead and they didn't want to get caught.
tears filled Tony's eyes,  and fear filled his heart, as thought to himself he may be dying,
and how that would hurt his mom and dad, and then he did something he hadn't did in a long time,
he prayed, he said lord please help me I know i have strayed, and I am sorry ,lord please help me.
and the lord spoke to Tony, and said, you have two choices Tony, you can lay here and die.
or you can drag your self out to the road side and get help,  it all up to you my son.
you left me my child, I never left you, even when you chose the drugs over me.
Tony said I am sorry lord, and i promise if you give me the strength to  live, I will never again leave you.

As Tony laid there he felt  as if a hand reached down and helped him stand, and he stumbled to the road side.
it seemed like he stood there forever, but then he finally saw car lights ,and he flagged the car down.
He told the man driving what had happened and asked him to take him to the hospital, and he did.
When he got to the hospital he asked the nurse if she would call his parents, and she said she would.
The doctor came in and said, the bullet is still in there Tony we need to operate.
so they took him to surgery and removed the bullet. A few hours later he woke up.
the first thing he saw, was his mom and dad sitting beside his bed,
and he broke down and cried like a baby, he said ,can you ever forgive me, for what i have put you through.
His mom hugged hid neck and said, we already have son ,we already have.

After he got better Tony return to school and church, and he is a better person then he has ever been.
He has a new job as teen director at the church and he plans to go to school to become a minister.
He travels around to the different schools in his county, and gives speeches on what drugs can do to your life.
He is so happy that the lord and his parents have given him another chance,
and he wants to make his parents proud of him.
and keep his promise to the lord, that he will never again stray from him, no matter what.
he tells him every day, that he is so glad to have found his way back to him.

Written and copyrighted by
Gloria Collins
January 2010

this story is strictly fictional