Altered State

A baby is born and mom is so happy. The helpless little child cries and is comforted, falling asleep in the warmth of mother's arms. She looks at the small innocent life and dreams of who he will be. Will he be a doctor, a lawyer, a father, a success?

Growing up, he would be asked ... "Jimmy, what do you want to be when you grow up?" At first little Jimmy would stand bright-eyed, a little dazed by such a question. "What do I want to be? Hmmm..." This was a little bit much for his four-year-old soul to grasp. "A fireman" he decided confidently from age six to ten, it seemed... like an exciting thing to do... big trucks, hoses, saving people. Then it was a policeman. After that a paleontologist... Fourteen hit and he changed his mind. The question he was asked so many times while growing up beckoned an answer a little deeper in his soul.

Who am I?" screamed a voice inside him with a gnawing hollow insecurity — and other people's answers bombarded him from everywhere as he saw new and exciting options in the world around him, forcing him to take his stand. Sure, lots of career choices, but the kids in school seemed to have different plans, and the happy people on the billboards and on MTV seemed to have found a better way of life. As he slipped out of Mommy's grasp, her question turned from, "What are you going to be?" to "What in the world do you think you are doing?"

Fast forward 16 years...

Calling again, Jimmy asks to get bailed out. Years of court fees and fines has wiped her bank account clean. "Sorry Jimmy, I just don't have the money this time." She hangs up the phone and cries. It still hurts after so many times. "How did my son become this way?" she asks herself. She recalls a time when she saw that childlike spark of hope fill his bright eyes, and is pained when now, his cold, beaten down glances meet hers as he nervously shifts his sight from her face to the floor.

What happened between that day when she held him in her arms dreaming about his future and now?

alter — (v.) a. cause to change; make different; cause a transformation b. to change or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way. c. tailor for a better fit (clothing) or to conform to fashion

How do we end up in the places we do? Did we make it to this destination by chance, or did we make a choice to go the way we went and then end up where we did?

destination — journey's end, end of the line, stopping place, goal, purpose, target, end.

Where did we start? Was there a goal? And are we hitting the mark?

I walked down the stairs of my house. The walls were melting and flowing into nowhere. I was the only one home. It was better that way, my mom would have a fit if she saw me in this state. The little bathroom my father had built in the basement was directly ahead. I went in the room shut the door and turned to look, into the mirror. I watched my pupils swell and constrict, twitching, trying to adjust to the light. As things came into focus... there I was, or was it me? Mohawk pointed to the sky, lobes stretched to the new gauge, the shaved sides of my head a bit grown into a greasy shag, green braids hung from my forehead. The bags under my eyes seemed to droop to the floor. I could feel gravity pulling them down, down, down. I was frozen, looking at someone, but who was this person in the mirror? Who is this person staring me in the face? Slightly alarmed and frightened I wonder... what have I become? Where did the smile of the little boy who smiled in the pictures at grandma's house go? Wondering who I was and how I became this person, I started to trace my roots. A cartoon here, a TV show there, an ad here, a band there, a movie here, a billboard.... So who made me this way? A choice here, a decision there, slight turn over there... and then...? I had lost my way. Was this the intention when I was born? Is there intention? I had to ask myself these questions at a point in my life. I think we all do at some time or another, just part of being human.

Were we born to be doctors, lawyers, bikers, junkies, cowboys, burger flippers, proud, arrogant, humble or meek? Is it destined in the stars? Is there a Creator who actually deliberated and thought of us, who we are, and who we would be, or were we just spit out of the universal baby dispenser, like so many amoebas crawling out of the gene pool?

Today we are as Jimmy — with innocence left and no plan for our life but somehow the choices in life were never ending, if you can afford it. We grew up wondering, even subconsciously "Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I even alive?" In a generation that was raised with few fathers, we are left to figure it out for ourselves. Even fewer were actually able to father us by giving us the answers they lived by. We are without culture and a foundation to build on. We, mankind, as a race, have lost our way. We are so altered we don't know where we started and definitely don't know where we are going.

AND YET... we were born for a reason. Each one of us was thoughtfully created to accomplish something on this planet. We would not have written this if we had not found the reason.

There was intention and love in our making and birth. We were created to love.

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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