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Bill Worthington
About 1,155 words
First Serial Rights
© 1991 William Worthington

I floated in a thickly darkened void, with no immediate
memory of how I got there. After what felt an eternity, I
found myself sitting in an exquisitely comfortable recliner.
Off in the distance I could faintly hear what sounded to be
the moaning of tortured souls, while an invisible force
prevented me from turning my head to look around.

While sitting there, something forced me to remember

everything I had intended to do with my life. As everything
raced through my mind like a torrential flood, a large view
screen lit up before me. When I was younger, I never
considered what affect any decisions I made would have on
me later in my life. When I wanted something, I went after it.
As I began thinking about this, I became aware that each
specific thought or idea would play before me on the screen.
It could even display what I realized for the first time.

The screen came to life with me walking through the

lush Washington mountains. During those days, I thought
about learning the occult to gain my hearts' desire. It was
after I rejected the occult that I realized it was a contemptible
sham. If I got something, complete dissatisfaction, and
emptiness would quickly follow. I would then have to seek
after something else of greater value to satisfy the
emptiness. There were times when I thought about working
for what I wanted, but I felt the world owed me a glorious
living. With this belief, I would once more begin to plan for
the easy road.

After several years, I replaced the easy life of the

mighty Sorcerer with the heavy load of the vulnerable
Christian. The local college library had everything I needed
to learn about mysticism and mystics. To some a mystic
was a vile creature, who prayed upon the weak and
innocent. I learned they were people who always strived to
be one with God, and sought to help those in need. To gain
an understanding of mysticism, I started first with Catholic
Mysticism. Later, I gained greater understanding as I read
about other wonderful religions, and their teachings. I
studied hard to learn all this, even to the point of outwardly
forsaking the worldly possessions that I once wanted. In
combining all the known religions, I formulated a plan that I
thought would aid me in becoming a noble and mighty

When I graduated, I began looking for a lavishly

decorated apartment that would give me an additional
bedroom to turn into a sanctum sanctorium. This would be a
sacred and protected room for me to retreat from the evils of
the world. A peaceful, protected place where I could
completely submerge myself in the doctrine of my God.
Most of the apartments were either too costly or lacked the
kind of luxury I desired. With these excuses in hand, I finally
took an apartment with only one bedroom. It wasn't long
before all worldly possessions began to matter. I even tried
to find a place to worship, but became concerned with how
many single women went there.

I went to college for a year immediately after

graduating from high school. It was shortly after getting
there, that I met an exciting and troubled girl. Terry craved
the approval of others, and was extremely susceptible to
their opinions of who she should be. To satisfy this
desperate craving for approval, she began to ignore the
righteous teachings her parents had taught her. Believing
myself to be a mystic, and capable of helping all those in
desperate need, I tried to help her maintain her moral
upbringing. While I watched us talking about religion, I
realized I was part of the reason she rejected everything her
parents had taught her. Some mystic. It took viewing my life
before I could see what I'd done.

People believe that power corrupts, and absolute

power corrupts absolutely. They're wrong. Jesus had
absolute power, and he wasn't corrupt. During my studies of
mysticism, I had gained the belief that an individual had to
have strong, good intentions to be free of corruption. I
understand now that not only should an individual have
strong good intentions, but their resolve must be strong
enough to out weight all else.

Random uncontrolled thoughts and images of my life

had been pouring from my mind without any conscious
control. Even the most analytical of men would have fared
no better. Why did I think I had to be better than them?

I wasn't better than anyone else, but I always thought

I was. Perfect, knowledgeable on any subject, and
completely without flaw. When faced with the truth, I
persisted in believing the lie.

Then I saw the true image of a mystic. He wasn't

perfect, knowledgeable on any subject, or completely without
flaw. He was a human being who strived to be clean before
our Father in Heaven. He knew that even the most lowly of
beings could teach him something he had never known.
Why couldn't I have learned that lesson before now?

While thinking of all this, I heard a horrifying cry of

pain. I strained every fiber of my being to see through the
thick darkness, and learn who it came from. After some
time, I learned to my surprise that it came from me. I felt the
tears gently flowing down my cheeks and the soreness of my
throat. As if swallowed up by the darkness, I thought of the
failures in my life. Immense remorse filled my entire being
for what I'd done to Terry. I longed to find her, and help
guide her back to the path of righteousness. If I did find her,
what would I do?

Suddenly, I remembered how baggy the pure white

clothes felt as I walked down the hall with my good friend to
get baptized. Several friends had come to watch, believing I
had accepted the path of righteousness. I led everyone to
believe I'd changed, even myself. I hadn't really; I just
changed what people could see. That explained why I never
felt reborn when I rose from the waters of baptism. In
remembering this, I began to cry again for the stubbornness
of my heart in not making a complete change.

Without warning a brilliant light came from the screen,

and bathed me in its blissful radiance. With each passing
second, I felt it fill my tortured soul with peace. When the
light went out, total understanding filled my mind. For the
first time in my life, I realized how I could stand before my
Father without shame. If I sincerely repented, he would
forgive me for my past mistakes. It was at that moment that
I begged for forgiveness. I no longer wanted to live as I had
done, but wanted to become the kind of servant my Father
would be proud of; to begin my life anew.

The End