Living with Abandon :: by Jim Torres “Towers”

I live life with abandon. How about you? A concerned friend recently wrote to me asking me to be careful when encountering strangers with the gospel. I know it was meant for my good and I appreciate her concern, but I love adventure, discovery and people. Most of all I love God, my Creator who causes me to sleep restfully in the midst of the storm.

I’ve traveled the country a few times, once on a motorcycle. I’ve slept in the Jaguar Jungle of Belize and ridden six foot waves in a 16 foot open skiff in the Sea of Honduras with the salt spray peppering my face. I’ve also slept on the shores of the Caribbean Sea in a tent and explored most of Central America. I loved it all and everywhere I go I carry the gospel with me, knowing this is my calling.

In the church building (before the service) you can tell I’m there if you hear loud laughter. I love to laugh and do so loudly, hugging friends and even greeting the religious elitists who think everyone is beneath them. Poor souls, I can’t help but feel sorry for them. They don’t know what it is to live— really live, with exuberance and gusto.

Oh, I have a serious side too. But knowing God is in control frees me up to enjoy life to the fullest. Don’t get me wrong, I know when to be serious and sympathetic toward others as well. There is a place and time for everything. Let me tell you a little story about one such exploit.

Years ago in Miami I came across a crowd of men who were gambling (throwing dice) under a huge oak tree in the middle of a huge abandoned lot bordering a side street. As I drove by I felt the Lord was leading to go back and witness to them. I made a U turn and came back to where they were.

There must have been up to a dozen men of various ages from the “hood” drinking beer and tossing dice on a big piece of cardboard laid out on the ground. They were having fun until they saw me approaching on foot. The activities stopped and even those who were on their knees got up and they began walking toward me.

Three cocky young men approached with bottles of beer in their hands. They swaggered threateningly toward me. I smiled when they got within an arm’s length of me. I said, “Hi, Gentlemen” as we came face to face. I could smell the beer on the breath of the closest most militant one.

“Wha choo wan man!… Is you loss or wha?”

Another one of them said, “Maybe he be a cop!”

I said, “No, I’m not a cop, God sent me to share the gospel with you men.”

“God sent you?… Are you for rel?

“Yes,” I said as I fished into my pocket for the little red Bibles with the plan of salvation inside them which I used to always carry with me. By now other men were coming out of the back doors of their apartments, most of them in tank tops and undershirts. By this time I was already giving out the Bible verses and everyone took one. They were dumbfounded when they realized what I had stopped for.

The shock left them speechless and it gave me time to explain the gospel to them. They offered me a brewsky which I declined, telling them I didn’t drink. I bid them farewell, turned my back to them and left. As I got into my car and drove away I could see them gathering around in small pockets reading their little red Bibles. I don’t know if God would inspire me to do that again in today’s racial climate or even if common sense would prevail. In any case, I’m ready. How about you?

Gentlemen, although it may seem as though I’m bragging, and I can tell you other stories of encounters like these and some which are poignant and sorrowful. I have fear of no man. Women are a different story….ha ha ha. (But I love them too.)

One little lady said, “Life is either an adventure or it is nothing at all.” I believe her name was Helen Keller. I tell this story to provoke you to action before the window of opportunity closes and we are transformed and taken away from the hell soon to come, leaving millions upon millions behind.

Trying to get my movie made has been the biggest challenge in my life, but what an adventure to embark upon. Although I am experiencing difficulty I’ve learned to be content in whatever state I’m in. After all, God is in control and it will come to pass if it’s His will.

Jesus said, “Only those who throw away their lives for my sake will truly know what it means to live.” I’ve been blessed to the point that I feel I’ve lived two lifetimes. Talk about adventure!

As if that weren’t enough, I’m writing my third book as well. In my free time I look forward to hitting the streets to see what God has in store for me there. Like Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Take heart, let God work through you to reach out to others. Don’t be like the heathen who spin about, not knowing which way to go and blown this way and that by the winds of change or trouble. And for God’s sake, don’t just be a bench warmer. Get out into the game of life and hug someone today, pray for someone, encourage someone. Give it all you’ve got, live, laugh and love.

I’m the only one who hugs the pastor of my church in public. He even hugs me back. I send him an email on occasion to encourage him, not to berate or correct him. After all, he’s human like the rest of us and needs all the encouragement he can get.

On the other hand, my detractors can’t get through my thick skin, and it bothers them, but hey that’s their problem not mine. As a matter of fact, I reach out to them in spite of it, with a friendly handshake—take it or leave it. I may on occasion even pray for them.

“Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”


Jim Torres “Towers”