“My life is OVER!”
I’m certain that’s what Tony Farmer was thinking as he collapsed to the floor. WATCH the painful and depressing VIDEO clip of his 2012 court sentencing. According to Yahoo Sports, Farmer was charged with counts of kidnapping, assault, robbery and intimidation for the beating of his ex-girlfriend, Andrea Lane. He was sentenced to three years in jail, (though it sounded like 5 years in the hearing).
On any given day, I am in full support of prison-time for any man who physically abuses a woman, but in an odd twist, Farmer’s ex-girlfriend, Andrea, actually pleaded with the judge to not put him in jail. Whatever the case may be, Farmer’s hopes and dreams of being a top college basketball player, maybe even someday an NBA star, came to a screeching halt. Apparently, this 18-year-old senior in high school was ranked among the top 100 high school players in the country and was being scouted by many top colleges.
It’s very hard to watch, not because I know him personally or because another young African American male with great potential just “bit the dust,” but because sin is awful, and its repercussions are even more awful!
I wish we already lived in a perfect world, a place where Jesus Christ sat on the throne of every heart, but we’re not there yet. So instead of moping over our worst-moments-ever, here are some helpful and practical tips on getting, “re-started” when our foolish choices bring us painfully close to our “My Life is Over” moment!
ONE: RECOGNIZE THAT IT’S NOT ALL OVER.
Unless you've literally stopped breathing, there's still hope for a new beginning, and by new beginning, I mean a new beginning with Jesus Christ at the center. Chances are, you're probably where you are now because you kicked Jesus off the throne of your heart [or perhaps, never allowed Him to be on it].
So, how about a fresh start?
Look at it this way; your way hasn’t worked well for you thus far! Heck, it’s by following, “your way” that got you here in the first place, right? So give up, and give in to faith in Jesus Christ. He knows the way, He has the truth, and He offers life! (John 14:6)
TWO: ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT’S ALL OVER.
When faced with a "My Life is Over" moment, you will need to temporarily suspend whatever former dreams and goals you had in order to navigate the new waters of this new path you’ve set yourself on.
Practically speaking, it means you need to embrace your new reality and refuse to spend your days and nights regretting what no longer is. Create a new agenda and attitude for this new season. Think through the positive disciplines and mind-sets that served you well in the last season [the ones you ignored] and try applying them in this new path you’re on.
You need to embrace the death of the old, in order live life in the new.
THREE: KEEP YOUR EYES ON NEW BEGINNINGS.
There is a countdown clock for every season in life’s experiences. You will not be where you are now forever. Seasons change!
Even better yet is the fact that your choices today will influence not only where you’ll be in the future, but ultimately set the course for how you’ll get there.
I once heard a cheesy little story about two mice that fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse died quickly because it hated being stuck in cream. So it gave up, and drowned. The second mouse however refused to quit or accept the inevitable and imminent reality of its death. It kicked, climbed, jumped, hopped, and churned like crazy. It struggled against its circumstance so much that it eventually turned the cream into butter, and crawled out.
Think about it, mouse #2 not only made it out alive, but it made it back home with some butter for its family and neighbors!
Take heart, friend. There's hope for a new beginning!
So, for all the Tony Farmers out there, yes, I understand that you feel like your life is sorta over. But let's face the stark reality, you can start a NEW one in jail tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy, nor will it feel or look anything like what the old life was supposed to be. It will however present you with a daily opportunity to set a new course that should result in what could potentially be a better season of life than any you have yet experienced in your young life.
Concerning the real Mr. Farmer, well that video was 3 years ago. A recent online search reveals that he's not only now out of jail, but he has signed to play Division II basketball with Lincoln College in Illinois. Can I get an "Amen" for this brother?
May God's Spirit provide you with strength and vision should you find yourself at that low point. May the Father remind you that it is never truly over with Him through Christ in you!