In the summer of 1977, I was twenty years old, and I had already been busted for the baggy of marijuana that the cops found in my sock under the pant leg of my bell bottom jeans the second time that they illegally searched me. I had already dropped out of college too, the one I’d gotten into on a full tuition scholarship as a reward for all the hard work I had put in during the first 19 years of my life. 

I’d been living on my own in my own small apartment out of my broken-hearted parents’ home so that I could “do my own thing” of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

But even though I could do as much of that as I now wanted, I wasn’t hardly doing any of it at all or, at least, not as much as I thought I needed to be doing to be “happy.” 

And that was the dirty little secret that I wouldn’t tell anyone . . . not even myself. I was completely free, or so I thought, and I was NOT happy. 

So now I found myself walking in the rain down the street of some neighborhood in New England some two thousand miles away from my Arizona home trying to sell books door to door so that I could make enough money so that I could buy a gun and a motorcycle and move to California where I would try to find happiness there. My plan was to sell pot for a living and try hard not to get busted again.

Out of an open living room window I heard Bob Dylan singing about a “rolling stone” . . . and I thought to myself, “He’s singing about me.” 

A few weeks later, I met Jesus in the stories of some people who said that they knew Him and that He “loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life.”

After that I never did buy a motorcycle . . . and I never did sell pot . . . and I never did move to California.

Some months later after I became what they called back then a “born again Christian,” and I had made enough money to purchase a ten year old Volkswagen beetle for $500, I heard that same song on the car’s radio, and I prayed, “Lord Jesus, please save Bob Dylan like You did me. He could tell the whole world about You . . . and the whole world will listen too.” 

I’m not saying that my single throwaway prayer turned the trick, but three years later, Bob Dylan released his “born again” album “Saved.”

My soul brother, Robert Zimmerman, turned 80 last year. He’ll turn 81 at the end of this month. And me, I’m 65, if you haven’t already done the math. Me & Bobby Z . . . we both did about the best we each could to tell the world about Jesus Christ . . . as best we each know Him . . . and we ain’t done yet.

“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life . . .”

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