I had yet another opportunity to interview a recent graduate from Rocky Mountain Treatment Center this past month and his story will be a true joy to share. Benjamin’s story is a great God story, so if you’re not up to hearing one, stop reading now.
All recovering alcoholics and addicts have to fundamentally start their lives over again once they enter sobriety. They begin their lives again from the point of disaster that brought them to recovery. In our program, we have high-bottom alcoholics and low-bottom alcoholics. I was a high-bottom drunk. I was still married. I still had a house. I still had a job. I had some life left to resurrect. Benjamin was not so fortunate. He had lost absolutely everything. He had no job, no home and no prospects. His alcoholism robbed him of all that he had and all that he had hoped for. He truly had to start all over again.
Benjamin graduated Rocky Mountain Treatment Center in the late summer of 2017 and due to lack of other resources, he landed in the local rescue mission. Rather than pity himself, he saw it for the opportunity that it was. My interview with him was after he had just spent a full year there. He explained to me that he entered the discipleship program in September 2017 and that he had another four months to go. He currently works in the laundry there and makes a whopping $10 a week. Talk about starting over at square one, right?
But he was happy. With hardly any material possessions, flashy car or high-powered job, he was happy. He was gracious enough to explain why.
Benjamin describes himself as a former big liver, someone who wanted to get the most out of life in the form of the most enjoyment possible. Every decision he made was based on what it was going to get for him. More was his goal. Today, it is not. His treatment experience taught him in no uncertain terms that he was just another selfish drunk and that unless he asked God for help and lived a life of service, he was going to die a selfish drunk. What an amazing discovery for a 26-year-old to make. He learned the hard way that God is either everything or nothing.
God went from nothing to everything for Benjamin. He was able to see the folly of earthly living and the sensibility of spiritual living. He has started a serious study of the Word, which I doubt he will ever stop. He believes every word and puts it into practice in the real world. It is what has allowed him to enjoy the peace that transcends understanding. It reminded me how real God really is.
I asked him about his future plans. He is a cook by trade and stated that he would like to apply to the United States Air Force and cook there. Whatever he does and wherever he will do it, there will be a whole bunch of God there with him.
As I always do, I asked him that if he had any message to pass on to anyone who is still struggling in their addiction, what would it be? He asked me to share two things on his behalf:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” -John 3:16-17
“You are going to get out of life what you put into it.”
Thank you, Benjamin, for reminding us all of what is truly most important and the actual source of all human happiness. May God continue to bless your efforts.
James A. Francetich is a freelance writer and author. The opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not represent any community based recovery programs, private or public entities or any governmental agencies.