The Place of My Origin - by Chris Pridmore
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
We spend a lot of time understanding our origins. We like knowing that we came from “something” or “someplace” and proudly proclaim our identity through many socially acceptable “war cries.” Rarely do we accidently find our place of origin. I am about to write a very emotional account of a different land of origin for me. It was undiscovered. I stumbled across it in my journey to new lands. It was uncharted even though it was exactly where I came from. It was the beginning of the end that eventually revealed my purpose.
Flight 665 to Charlotte, NC will be boarding shortly. My first leg of a trip that would be a significant outward demonstration of my rise from the destruction of my addiction. I was on a trip to present before a room full of some the most prominent leaders in Emergency Medicine. Heck even the DEA and CDC were there. As a side note, DEA does not have a hiring profile that includes welcoming and nurturing as a leadership quality. I was to be a voice on a panel to discuss from “learned experience” ideas to advance the cause of eliminating Stigma in the Emergency Room setting. My position was heavily postured towards Peer Advocacy and to express my opinion that Physicians should gain the appropriate waiver to write prescriptions for medicine that can bridge treatment. Here I was in a room of super smart people and I was to offer something that would change the game. They would talk all smarty pants and as I joked with another panelist all I could think to say was, “cool” and nod my head with the rigor of a surfer from the “valley.” Nevertheless, this was my first dive back into a full-blown professional, national stage.
To get to the “larger” stage, I had to first take a flight 665 to a destination that would enter me into a spiritual experience that I did not see coming. It was indeed the belly of the beast, the den of iniquity, the subtle seductive demon, the land of origin. This was not my birth origin. It was a rugged land that I now known to be the actual origin of my alcoholism. The road. The anonymous, secretive, crowds of the road. On the road is where my addiction to alcohol began. It flourished and stole everything. I was reminded at every bar in this airport, the plane offers, the bars in the hotel to come. I used to be washed in alcohol. Booze at the meetings. Booze at dinners. It was throughout me and my spiritual nature was numb. The birthplace of so much trouble in plain sight with acceptable compliance to the norms. Those norms were a felon in training. A broken home in training. Shattered friendships in training, Homelessness in training. Lifelessness in training. The acceptable wash masked in professional conversation and ego joisting turned into a cliff that I slipped off and lost it all.
I had not seen this origin for what it is was. My actual origin. My “road” began on this road. I was thrown away as trash from being accepted in that space after my fall. Now I reenter as a fully surrendered solider of the cross and I am seeing so many lives swallowed in the mud. I am numb at the revelation of something that until this day, I had not noticed or least acknowledged in any significant way as the source.
The real origins of my brokenness were now available with a force of harsh reality. It was so powerful that I was left speechless. I could only call on Jesus. My body was in “safe mode” because all emotional and mental systems had failed. I was truly overwhelmed by the new revelation. The origins of my addiction, the real ones slapped me in the face. I was now ready to know this information. God saw fit that now was my day of understanding.
In this still moment, I got on flight 665 to Charlotte, NC. I did all I could do. I closed my eyes and with intentional tunnel vision, I saw only Jesus. I took an inventory of all my life and I surrendered again. As I opened my eyes, I no longer saw a loving Jesus. I saw the deity of my King. His iron clad arm commanded and reached forward and His voice rumbled steady like thunder. “Christopher. Soldier of my sacrifice. Take up your shield. Embrace your sword. Gird up my son! I love you so much! You are called to new battles. God (my King) had specifically called me in all my weaknesses. It is so clear to me. All I could say was, “Yes. Thank you. Where to?”
These are defining moments in our lives. Many times (regardless of the trajectory) these are the definitions of a degree of elevation or decent. I have been in a such moments. I have spent so many years of work to make progress, to see progress, to understand the new me. Today, is powerful. I’m starting to understand that all those trials were pressure holding my drive back for the exact time of required launch. On my own, I would have “launched” much sooner and likely compromised my power, velocity, value, precision and effectiveness. God knew that. He kept fueling me. Yet, never letting me lose. He was making a way for today and all future days in this life. This small test preparing me for the limitless. I used to prepare for the “huge” contract awards or the “amazing” accomplishments. They were hollow yet necessary to prep for my “one day” purpose. A calling. The greatness of a King being exhibited through the shattered pieces of a broken vessel…me.
On flight 665 to Charlotte, NC and all the moments before and after, lead to this day and these new pieces of understanding about the origin of my fall and the crystal-clear reason for my rise. I understand my place. It was no accident. My emotion pours out of me because I was made that way. I take a fighter posture because I was made that way. I am flawed as a human and even in this writing. It does not matter. In service, I was called. In this purpose, I march. I am not called to be perfect. I am called to answer and go. In God, my weakness is made strong. Because of my flaws, I am blessed. I do not belong on a stage. Yet, I go because I know that where I am and where I go…He is also!