Jeff Lennon: One Bad Trip
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
"I just remember this fear that people were going to get me. I began to run down the street. I ran down towards the back boulevard, and I probably ran a good quarter mile."
No one was chasing Jeff Lennon. He was on an acid trip and was hallucinating. That night began with a party at a friend’s beach house.
"We were already on several hits of LSD," Jeff tells The 700 Club. "We were smoking marijuana. I didn’t trust a few of the people that were there at that party, and so I just remember this paranoia building up inside of me. I remember just bouncing out of the chair and running out of the house as fast as I could."
That night was a turning point in his life. Jeff dropped out of school when he was 16.
"I wasn’t doing very well in school, and I wanted to just get away from it. I dropped out and went to the beach, just started hanging around with people that were already involved with drugs and living that lifestyle of partying."
Eventually his mom kicked him out of the house.
"I would just crash at people’s houses for a week or two. Then I would gradually move on to the next house and stay there for a week or two. I’d earn enough to get by to buy a lot of McDonalds."
Sometimes after a wild party he didn’t have anywhere to go.
"I would find a secluded spot, a concealed spot within the sand dunes and grab a blanket and just fall asleep. I wanted to live in that moment and not really think about the future. That was the last thing on my mind."
One night, an acid trip turned into a nightmare.
"I remember very clearly seeing skulls in pairs on the ceiling. I just remember seeing the mouth moving, the jaw moving, and at that point I was extremely fearful."
Three girls dressed in black and known around the beach as Satanists, came up and asked him to sign a book.
"I was kind of hallucinating, and I could actually see the bones through their clothes. I remember them asking me, 'Can we get your autograph?' I said, 'No, I don’t know what you guys are involved in, but I don’t like it.'”
That’s when fear took over and he left the housing running.
"I began to hear voices telling me to kill myself. They were very distinct: 'Jeff, just take your life. If you can kill yourself, you’ll feel much better. You won’t have this fear right now that you’re dealing with.'”
He ran to a convenience store and called his mother.
"I was just panicking. I’m like, 'Mom, I’m on drugs. I feel like people are trying to kill me.'”
He went out to wait for her. He stuck his hands in his pockets and felt his keychain that his mother had given him.
"I didn’t really know why I took it out of my pocket; I didn’t even have a car. I flipped it over, and I remember seeing the words 'Jesus' on it, and it had the 'footprints in the sand' poem on it. [The last line] said, 'My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you during the times of trial and suffering. But when you saw one set of footprints in the sand, it was then I carried you.’”
Jeff had heard about Jesus when members of campus crusade for Christ were talking to people on the beach. But he had never listened to them.
"I was having too much fun with drugs and partying and all that. I didn’t need him."
But now, Jeff knew that he needed Jesus.
"It’s ironic, because the man in the keychain was walking on the beach, and here I am living on the beach. When I read that, I just remember this immediate peace that came over me."
His LSD high immediately went away.
"I was right in the middle of that trip. Maybe three hours into it. So it wasn’t like the hallucinations were wearing off any time soon. But when that peace came over me, I just remember thinking, Okay, God’s trying to get my attention.”
When his mother got there, she was relieved and surprised.
"She was like, 'What’s the matter? There’s nothing wrong with you. You seem absolutely fine.'
I explained the story to her and how I felt like God was trying to get my attention. She said to me, 'Maybe you should come with me to the Bible study next week.'"
Jeff went to the Bible study, where he met a member of the group who had once been a drug addict.
"He just shared with me how he came to know the Lord as his Savior and what I would need to do to be saved. It was a desire of my heart to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I remember saying to him, 'Let’s go. Let’s do it now.' It’s a miracle to me that that very night was the very end of drugs LSD, pot, marijuana, and alcohol. It was the end."
Today, Jeff is married and has two children. He says after years of trying to escape from life, he’s found fulfillment and happiness through Jesus Christ. He says, "Ultimately He’s given me peace, and I don’t think anybody would want to trade what you feel that peace, that restfulness you feel inside with God for anything else in the world. Jesus has just truly given me peace in my heart, and that puts a smile on my face."
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