After a contented life in Southern California, Allan Rice began to drift — both away from God and through the Western part of the country. He finally hit the road to Alaska six years ago.

He describes the consequences of sin and poor decision-making as a descent into dishonesty and self-absorption that eventually landed him on the streets of Anchorage and at the doorstep of the Brother Francis Shelter in the winter of 2012.

Rice recently spoke to the Catholic Anchor about his descent into street life.

“I characterize my thinking patterns at that time as extreme confusion,” he reflected.

The duties to family became less important than self-seeking, as he pursued personal freedom and indulgence. His life on the streets was interwoven with a cast of characters who considered him a bit of a spiritual leader but this outward facade did nothing to fill a gnawing hunger for authenticity, which he couldn’t outrun.

Rice admits ruefully, “While I had taken on the form of a Christian and spoke the language very well, I had no interior authenticity. I considered myself a dishonest Catholic, which is no way to live — that dissonance. It meant I had to choose between the two. I chose to become a dishonest person.”

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Never having a substance abuse history, Rice characterizes his dysfunction as exerting his “own agenda” over people and situations. Trained as a plastics technician with broad experience in chemistry and physics, his employment history became spotty due to unreliability and a bad attitude, creating a web of obstacles he overcame through any means necessary, including crime.

“I became a thief,” he lamented.

In finally pulling out of the abyss of self-sabotage and uselessness, Rice doesn’t credit his own power, but the sustenance of God. Of his spiritual conversion, he recalled a stark moment when he conceded that God must have been watching over him.

Facing the federal hammer after years of skating, read the rest here…