Run the race, make a difference, head for the finish line!

Tony Loeffler
Tony Loeffler

"Finish Line"

Prison population's growing, been getting stronger every day,
While the homeless is even getting larger, we never planned it out this way.
We got to find some real solutions; promises aren't going to do,
Everybody's pointing fingers, pointing them at me and you.

Black's gone white, white's gone black,
We're living in a grey world, heading for the finish line.

We raped our land, polluted the rivers, and blamed it on the guy next door,
But he's not there, he's gone forever, just go look outside your door
I met a man called "Man of sorrow"; said He'd straighten out this mess
Look around; I'm sure you can feel it, like an eagle stirring up its nest.

I wrote those lyrics in the early 1990's while performing on the rooftop of the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, N.J. USA. Those were incredible days when we performed as Tony Loeffler and the Blue Angels. The passion was high, the sacrifice was high and the stakes were high. We would go anywhere to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we did. We performed on street corners, in VA hospitals, colleges, rescue missions, jails, festivals, parks and churches. Most of our activity centered on the homeless community and the inmate population and so did our performances.

The only problem was that every prison system in which we performed, the conditions seemed to be getting worse by the day. There were overcrowded jail cells from place to place and it was becoming the norm. It was horrible and somewhat inhumane. The rescue missions also were not making much progress as they were seriously overcrowded and understaffed. It was enough to make a person want to quit trying to make a difference in life. But I couldn't do that because now I believed in the miraculous. I had found the real solution alluded to in my song.

He was called the "Man of Sorrow" and He was acquainted with grief. In Isaiah 53 it gives a pretty good description of the sacrifice that was made for you and for me. Verse 2 and 3 says, "He had no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him." I suppose the people were living in a pretty grey world at that time also. For most didn't even recognize the Savior of the world, the lover of our souls and the friend of the lonely.

In verses 4, 5 and 6 we are reminded that He bore our grief and carried our sorrows. He was pierced through our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

Even though I experienced the peace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was set free from my real misery, I couldn't get rid of my frustration. It would increase with every prison and mission related performance. This wasn't because we weren't seeing any lives being changed because we were. Many people were being saved and finding freedom in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was just that the conditions were getting worse by the day especially in the prisons.

Back in the 1980's everyone was playing the blame game. That was why I say in my song, "Everybody's pointing fingers, pointing them at me and you." I remember reading an article somewhere around 1981 with a title that said, "Prisons, warehouses of human lives." You know what, the writer was right. We were stock piling people in buildings where little was being done to help them come to some solution in their journey of life. That is what prisons were becoming day by day and many still are.

This catchy article not only caught my attention but it also changed my attitude. It actually increased my passion for the lost because I knew that without the Lord Jesus Christ, people would suffer in an eternal prison unlike anything they have ever known. So I continued on my road sharing the greatest message this world has ever, or will ever, hear.

As time went on and I read more scriptures, I began to realize that there is a window of opportunity for each person to come to this conclusion. But, if people missed the Savior when He walked the earth performing miracles, healing people and casting out demons, how would they possibly catch it now? Especially in view of the fact that Satan has been working hard for centuries breaking down the distance between what is right and wrong.

People needed to choose the Lord as Savior and friend or they would unknowing in some cases, be rejecting Him and meet Him as judge at the end of the earthly pilgrimage.

Although this is a very easy choice to understand it has become extremely tough for people to grasp. The reason is that Satan has been creating confusion and doubt on every side. Satan is busy breaking down principles and creating a rather grey world so that it is more difficult to understand truth but the Lord is also stirring up the nest, just like an eagle.

There are many who feel rather safe in their faith by believing in some grey areas. In an attempt to dismiss the truth, Satan has successfully sowed various lies to create a rather grey world. The black and white issues changed faster than I would like to admit.

So here we are in a foot race against time racing toward the finish line. The concern I have is that the black and white issues outlined by God are looking greyer by the day because of Satan's lies. Now of course, if you read the word of God you will see that the issues are quite clear, not grey at all. However, Satan is laughing as people try to find the truth while living in a grey world since centuries were spent chipping away at the infrastructure of our world.

Realize where we are in this continuum of life and that some principles are rather black and white even though we are living in a grey world and get out there and make a difference. The only place to find the truth is in the Bible. So, keep reading the word, keep sharing the truth and finish that race as you too are heading to the finish line while living in a grey world.  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.