Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Garrett is Dead and I feel Selfish

I don't know much about how Garrett died. Yesterday he was found dead in a motel room somewhere in the Daytona Beach, FL area. I do know a little about how he lived. I wrote about Garrett in this post. I do know that Garrett struggled. He struggled with so many things. I had the opportunity to know him during the last part of his life here on earth. Several months ago, I remember him coming to church while he was a part of a Christian rehab program. He was so on fire for God. I thought maybe, just maybe, Garrett had tackled the demons in his life. I remember thinking that he had so much potential to win so many people to Jesus. Garrett left the rehab program and soon it was apparent that he was slipping back into his former life. Just a few days ago, I felt led to call Garrett. I didn't. Today I feel regret about that. It reminds me how important it is to call someone when God lays that on my heart. When I talked to Garrett it was always frustrating. He didn't take responsibility. He made excuses. He blamed others. I had a difficult time understanding him. He was a white guy who was always trying to sound like a gangster. Most of the time when I talked to him I wasn't very loving. I got in his face. I probably wasn't very kind to him. Maybe I could have been more of a listening ear.

Just a few days ago, I should have called Garrett but I didn't. I didn't call him because he was annoying to me. On the day after someone dies, that sounds like a pretty lame excuse. I think it sounds very selfish.


  1. Mike, I needed to read this today. I've been feeling cold to someone that we have tried SO MANY TIMES to reach but it just doesn't ever seem to be enough. This post spoke to my heart. I still don't know what to do ... except to continue to love. It's risky. It can be disappointing. It can cost your heart a lot. Thanks for loving people that really can't love you back.

  2. Mike, I won't tell you to ignore those promptings, or to not feel bad about thinking of Garrett as annoying.

    But remember this. God is still sovereign. He appointed the days for Garrett before Garrett was even conceived. Garrett's life was in God's hands from day one until the last day. The Lord allowed you to touch Garrett's life in a positive way. He allowed Garrett to catch the Spirit's fire. And if the Lord gave up on people who struggle after finding Him, His kingdom would be empty.

    You and I and everyone else have regrets for all the could have should have would have. God isn't condemning us, just encouraging us to keep going. Our regrets can teach us more than a year's worth of sermons. Learn the lesson and apply it to your life and bless the next Garrett when God sends him.

    I've prayed for you and Garrett's family tonight. Be at peace.


  3. I believe we can cut our own days short... not that there's a clock ticking for each person. But maybe that just makes it sadder.

  4. John, I agree with you. The Bible has a number of references to us cutting our days short. But only by our own actions. It's a fascinating contrast between God's sovereignty and our own free will. How we influence the lives of others adds yet more mystery to everything.

    I suppose that on the one hand, God uses us to accomplish His works in the lives of others, and that no matter what we do, He gets the credit. But on the other hand, He gives us the choice to be used, and promises heavenly reward for those who are faithful with the things He entrusts to us here. Perhaps we're not responsible for the choices of others, but as we are used by God we share the joy of the good we bring to pass in their lives from Him.

    I feel as if I'm rambling a bit here. If nothing else, I thought I should affirm what John said.

  5. John and Anne, All I can say is God Bless You.