|Posted by EHancock2 on August 2, 2016 at 12:20 AM|
The Hancock men of my generation have grown into men of honor. Granted, none of us started out that way. We all had our issues. But, in adulthood, the three of us in this generation (Yes, there are only 3) each learned to stand for something principled. It wasn't until Jerry's death in June that I realized just how true it was. As I listened to his fellow police officers -- people with whom he'd worked for 20 to 25 years -- it became all too clear that I didn't know him as well as I'd thought. The Jerry I knew was funny at times. Hard at other times. He could be your best friend or he could be your worst enemy but, like the street, you'd better have looked both ways before you crossed him.
In his adult life, he'd lived by the motto, "Character is what you do when you think nobody is looking." A motto I'd seldom heard him use. But one that officer after officer repeated as they referenced "Sergeant Hancock" Or "Jerry" or "The Sarge."
My cousin, Tere, is a man of action rather than words. That's somewhat his motto, I believe. Actions speaks louder than words. Don't talk about what you're gonna do. Go out and do it. That's Tere. If he says he's going to do it, you can bet your sweet bippy he's going to bust hump to get it done...and he'll probably succeed. He generally does.
For me, the mottos include, "You can do anything anyone else can do. You just may have to find a different way." But it also includes, "Discipline is sacrificing what you want now for what you want most." Both are mottos by which I have tried to live.
Still, as we approach the 2nd month since Jerry's passing, I've begun to think about his assessment on Character. It's not a saying I've used often, but it is certainly one I understand.
In my younger days, I suffered from addictions to evil things. Among them, pornography. I won't go into the details. But I can say it wasn't the only thing to which I was addicted. I can say this as well. Character is what you do not when people are not watching. In my life anyway, character was what I did when I THOUGHT no one was watching.
Then I became a father. Now, do I know he witnessed my addictions? No I don't. Do I know he did not? Again, no I do not. What I do know is that my character got a kick in the butt when I realized, even if he wasn't watching my addictions, he was watching ME. And what I did when he was in bed asleep was just as important as what I did when we were in the car driving to the school in the mornings. The type of man I was when he wasn't there was just as important (if not moreso) than the type of man I was in his presence. Because THAT man -- The man i was in his absence -- set the standard for who I would be in his presence.
In 2009, when my ex took him away, it would have been all too easy for me to slip back into the perils and pitfalls of addiction. I was alone. Nobody was around. Nobody was watching. Nobody was gonna watch. Nobody, it seemed, cared to watch anyway. Why not just give in to the monster and embrace my old friend, addiction?
Well, I'll tell you why not. Because I was watching. Because I had worked too hard to beat my addictions and I wasn't about to let anyone or anything have that power over me again. But there was something else too. Around the same time as my second marriage was falling apart (in 2009) my greatest spiritual mentor left this world for her reward in Heaven. My granny had prayed for me on the day of my birth. When Doctors saw Spina Bifida as a death sentence, Granny had declared, "No, God has a plan for this boy."
I'm quite certain that plan did not involve me wasting my life in addiction after addiction.
Now there are some philosophical differences among people as to whether or not a person's soul immediately goes to heaven when they die or do they simply lay dormant in their grave until God comes back to get us all. There are biblical experts far more learned on this subject than I, so I will leave that debate to them.
For me, I've always sort of thought that the soul at least leaves the body, even if it doesn't go right to heaven. Wherever my granny was, after March 16, 2009, she was no longer in this world. I knew she would be watching if it were at all possible for her to do so. And would granny want me to waste her prophecy on addictions? No.
So, I beat it. I'm beating it. I go on beating my addictions, each day I resist. The BIble says, "Resist the Devil and He will flee from you."
Fact is, he does not flee quickly. He does not flee quietly. But eventually he gets less enthusiastic about trying to tempt you when he realizes your resolve holds true.
And when he's taken away everything and everyone for whom you beat the addiction, the Devil is powerless when he finds you in a place of beating the addiction for yourself and on the off chance that your spiritual mentor is watching from the other side.
The Devil tempts me in other ways now. I guess Granny is right to say God has a great purpose for me. Because the devil leaves a lot of people alone. Truthfully, I find he leaves me alone when I get off course...and I still can on occasion, though not to these addictions.
The devil fights hardest against a person that is living God's plan for their lives. He fought me in my youth. He's fought me since the day of my birth. But God has a plan for this boy. And, friends, he has a plan for you to.
All YOU have to do is go find it!
Till next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.