Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crossing my first Rubicon... February 19th, 1982

This past week I got sick.  I mean, REAL sick.  I mean, I had never seen colors like THAT come out of my mouth AND my nose before. Sorry.  Too much information? But it was the worst sick of the digestive kind I have ever experienced.  And I couldn't stop it.  They said it was some virus that was going around.  For me it was three days of exhaustion preceded by the first six hours of recurring abdominal hell.

As I felt better later in the week I started thinking about being THAT sick and I realized something.  My body was made to do that.  An infection got in.  My radar system detected the intruder, sounded the alarm and all FLUSH OUT levers were activated.  My body said, "we are flushing this baby outa here! "  And so the trauma began as my body battled the "deadly foe".

Something similar happened to me in a spiritual sense 30 years ago today.  A virus got into my system years earlier, before I was born in fact and was wreaking havoc until my spiritual condition reached a critical point and something had to change.  But, there is a difference between then and this past week. Then I wanted and encouraged this "virus" to grow in my life.  I invited it and fed it.  I allowed it.  I chose it.  This virus that paralyzed my life until February 19th, 1982 is called sin.  Not a pretty word, but neither was the stuff coming out of me this past week.  You may say, "Come on, Tom.  I'm basically good."  I thought that too!  Yet theologian R.C Sproul shockingly puts perspective in place by saying, "if you think about it, we are more like Adolph Hitler than Jesus Christ."  At our core we are not good.

I was a sarcastic, self-centered, isolationist.  I cared about ME, and you can ask those who knew me then if you doubt my words.  Bouts of depression through high school, an impregnated girlfriend with a subsequent abortion and a suicide attempt landed me in New York Psychiatric Hospital on February 18th, 1982.  There in that small room, at age 19, all that my life had come to became a reality that proved there is nothing good in me.  The next night, February 19th, 1982, in that hospital, with the reality of my terminal virus (my sin) pressing on me, I sat on the floor and called out to a God who I was not sure was there or really cared.  I was about to cross my first Rubicon.  In that stillness a voice answered.  Nothing I heard out loud, but a voice I knew was not me.  Was I pschyco? Perhaps.  This still voice showed me all my life had come to was because of my choices, my self centered choices, but if I was willing to surrender my life to Jesus Christ, He would cure my virus of sin and give my life the purpose and meaning that He had created me for.

So... I vomited.  I vomited words.  They heaved out of me like this past week.  Regrets, bad choices and decisions, I took responsibility for my sinful life and it poured out of me for 15 or more minutes.  It was my first true confession.  I asked Jesus to forgive me, to take my sins.  After all, He paid the price for my cure with His own life on the cross.  I gave Him my life to use as He would.  He healed me and cleansed me and forgave me right there on the floor in that psychiatric hospital that night 30 years ago.  
In front of what was NY Psychiatric Hospital, White Plains, NY, this past January
That crisis, that moment, caused me to cross my first rubicon.  There would be many others to come, but I am so grateful that He has done for me what I could not do for myself.  The virus of sin still affects my life.  Yet the Wounded Healer of my soul is there to forgive and free me.

I challenge you if you have not taken that first step, do it!  To Cross Your Rubicon means to take a step where there is no turning back.  To abandon yourself to the course set.  Our Creator has made you to fulfill His purpose for your life.  
Cross Your Rubicon and don't look back!       


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Tom. It's reminding me of when I crossed that same rubicon to Jesus. Looking forward to following your new blog. God bless! And glad you're feeling better!

  2. Thank you Tom. Your experience 30 years ago has helped many & brought others to the Lord. Many people are in despair today. As a christian I try to touch lives by spreading the good news. God bless you & thanks for your honesty!

  3. Returning to the Father is such a freeing and impacting life changing moment. He uses that moment to help us cross many RUBICONS in our journey with Him. Thanks for sharing with us and encouraging us!

  4. WOW, Tom! I only knew part of your story. To hear the rest in such an open forum is courageous and humbling! I genuinely appreciate your openness and vulnerability, and I firmly believe that these are some of the attributes necessary in living with childlike faith as directed by Christ. It is inspiring! Thank you for setting such an example...and thank you for sharing!

  5. Praise God for being spite of our own lack of goodness!
    Look forward to reading your new blog Mr Z!

  6. So glad Jay FB-d this. I have grown to trust Jay... even though we've only known each other a bit on blogs... and I'm so pleased to follow his insights. In some ways, even though I'm significantly older, and saved when you were a toddler/preschooler, we have quite a bit in common. And we're both alive and serving the Lord. Thanks for your straightforward way of sharing. Blessings.


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