Real Voices from the Missouri DOC: Zach Bowers

May 2017 was Zach Bowers’ 20th anniversary of being incarcerated in the Missouri Department of Corrections. He believes the month of May was a time of growth for him. Zach and his friend, Matt Brooks, are both growing as God is working with both of them. I have included two articles from Zach for today’s post.

Zach, Matt and their friend have appreciated an avenue to have their writings presented to a wider audience. I appreciate their effort to write and send me their work.

Memorial Day

Here we are, “Memorial Day Weekend.” While most venture out in their Dodges, Fords, and Chevy’s in their Nike’s, Reebok’s and Adidas to lakes, campgrounds or backyards, I am pacing barefoot in my cell. I pace and contemplate the blessing this bleak 8X12 provides.

Thankfully, I have realized in essence that I have been stripped down to the bare me, with no access to distract the attention of self from self. Common questions we often ask are: “Who are you?” “What are you?” “Where do you come from?” The most common response is a list of superficial, materialistic and idealistic concepts we’ve donned to identify ourselves.

However, so few care to bare that blank book within themselves, where they have listed their values and virtues – their honor and integrity, loyalties and love, magnanimous characteristics that actually define who a person really is. Yet, most never venture off into themselves. Rather, they occupy their thoughts in a world filled with distractions. They are lost and proclaim their allegiances to sports teams or soft-drink brands in vain attempts to anchor some sort of identity. Some say, “I’m a Coke drinker,” but this is a declaration of no real substance.

On a day dedicated to memorialize those who have come before us, it is fitting to take note, not just of the names of those who we are memorializing but more so the attributes that made them memorable. They set standards of moral conduct and made sacrifices to further the greater good. The lessons learned from their lives are their gifts to us, like a play-book for the life that lies before us.

We are faced with important questions: “Who are you?” “What are you?” “Where do you come from?” “What made you and to whom will you return?”

In the present, the gift of the here and now, we are who we are, while torn between two forces of who we were and who we want to be. Our past and our future are actively at work, like gravity, holding the oceans in place, yet the noon-tide is tugging the water upon the shore. We stand, we fall; we walk, we crawl; we laugh, we bawl – all in search to find ourselves.

Who am I? I am all I ever was. What am I? I am the sum total of all I ever was, all that I am today and ever will be tomorrow. My past, my present and my future makes me who I am.

What made me? God made me when he willed forth the Light that divided the night. From the beginning a long succession of creations have all coalesced now into me. Yet in the great galaxies, he set in motion, I am but a particle that appreciates.

At last, to whom will I return? I will return to that All Father who is greater than good. Still yet, I must tip my hat in thanks and gratitude for all of those who have sacrificed their lives and liberties for this way of life that so many take for granted.

Good Versus Evil

There is a constant struggle of good versus evil and positive versus negative going on all around us at all times. The up and the down, the left and the right, and the collision of this conflict creates our reality, while weighing in the balance of this chaotic intersection of turmoil rests our souls. The pull, the tug, like magnetic poles is inescapably undeniable and we are all participants in this eternal struggle, either consciously or unconsciously, whether we like it or not.

In this battle there are two sides of which one is destined to prevail, while the other is doomed to fail. I will give you a minute to guess which of the two sides is the Ultimate Victor. Here is a hint: The Welsh have a saying that there are three things that constantly grow less – darkness, falsehood and death. The inevitable ending of such non-sustaining forces is clear. At the same time, they say there are three things which constantly increase – light, truth and life. The infinite regenerative power of these forces is also clear.

Constantly, these colliding forces oppose one another and in the center of this infinite struggle we exist. Struggle is life and the life offers the opportunity of choice. The choice of which side you choose to reside in and abide by: ONLY in the chaos of this collision does the choice of free will exist. Choose wisely!!!

 

 

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