Excerpt of Book
What is the right direction for our lives in this fast paced modern world, and how do we know if we are on the right course? Sometimes people follow what they think is the right pathway for their lives only to find at the end of that season or path, it is full of vanity, regrets, little substance, or peace of mind. They question themselves at times, not really sure if they are completing their life’s true assignment. As well, there might be others that could be on their pathway to their true life’s assignment, but there is still a question whether they are completing it in its fullness. This is not an unusual thing, but rather this dichotomy is always a part of our road to success.
However, to answer this question, we must first have an understanding of why we are here as well as have an understanding of purpose. Once we ascertain this information, then we will be able to extrapolate from the content of purpose a starting point for the direction we need to go to discover our “why.”
For example, let’s say that you are considering taking a trip somewhere for a vacation. First, you must decide the purpose for the trip, then decide on the right destination. In defining the purpose of the trip, you must first determine whether the trip is for rest and relaxation or adventure. Furthermore, you must know what your definition of rest and relaxation or adventure is for yourself. Your idea of rest and relaxation may be another person’s idea of adventure. For simplicity, let’s assume that it is rest and relaxation, and you want to lie on the beach.
Now that we have defined the basic purpose of the trip, this will determine our direction of travel. With this defined, we now probably won’t need to look at travelling to cold locations or winter time travel. Your focus then becomes places with a warm seasonal climate at the time of the year that you are wanting to travel. You are going to further focus on places with beach resorts during their most sunny time of the year.
At times in the defining of your purpose, you already have a sense of destination. For our travel example, let’s again say you want to travel to Miami Beach, FL during Miami Beach’s peak beach travel season. Now that you have defined the purpose of the trip, you have to begin the preparations to travel to Miami at the appointed time you have set for your vacation on your calendar. Then you must define the necessary direction you must go to arrive at that place of purpose or destination.
The direction you need to go starts from your point of origination and goes to the destination point traveling as quickly and cost effectively as your budget allows. By approaching your travel in this manner, you can now maximize your time of rest and relaxation based upon the time of arrival you have planned.
However, since life is a journey or marathon and not a sprint, let’s assume for this travel example that you are going to travel by car and not by airline. Let’s assume that your origination point is Los Angeles, CA and you have chosen to drive your car to Miami Beach, FL. Let’s also assume that you have never driven across the United States like that or been to Florida before. Your chances of just getting in your car and driving straight there without maps or navigational equipment and arriving at your destination the first time via the quickest possible route are probably around slim to none.
This is what many people do with their lives, because they don’t know their purpose. Without knowing their purpose, they can’t find the right direction, and without the right direction, they have little to no hope of reaching the right destination.
Maybe even you have wondered at times, “Why am I here?” Maybe you have asked yourself, “I wonder what the purpose for me being here is?” Maybe you have asked yourself, “Why was I born at this time or in this generation?” Others of you may have wondered at times, “Is my life on the right track?” Maybe you have wondered, “Did I choose the right path in this decision or make the right decisions?” Maybe you have wondered, “How do I really know if I am choosing the right direction in this decision?”
The process of determining the answers to these questions will unfold as you read and understand what is contained in the various chapters of this book. The information contained in this book is a result of the many years of personal experience, discovery, study, meditation, revelation, traveling as well as through interaction with others.
The process I will unfold in this book is how to find your purpose and define it. I will also explain the process of effective navigation toward your purpose. Lastly, I will outline the progression of how to arrive at the proper destination or place of purpose for your life at the proper timing. As mentioned in the trip example, your purpose is a "place." It is not a physical place, but a place of being or calling. It is a place that you walk through and live your life through; it is life-long.
There are so many different ideas, concepts and theories in this modern world concerning a person’s life journey. There is also a lot of confusion regarding race, religion, science, earth, history and many more, all too numerous to mention. While I don’t claim to be an expert in any of these areas, nor do I purport that I have all the answers. However, through my many experiences, I know they have helped me find my purpose and path for my life as well as been able to assist others in discovering their purpose. This is why I have intentionally started this book off with a brief synopsis of my life history, so you can somewhat understand how I arrived at this place in my life of writing this book.
I grew up on a large working cattle ranch in Colorado. Some would say I grew up in their dream life of being a “real” cowboy. In reality, I really was a "real" cowboy. We did not do the rodeo thing because we did not have time for it. My step family had two large ranches with thousands of head of cattle. In this modern age, it was not a life that most people get the privilege to live. To some it probably sounds like the perfect dream life. However, I grew up with an abusive stepfather, and that part of the dream for me was more like a nightmare.
For years, I was told I was stupid, that I would never amount to anything. He would at times taunt me by calling me “Alice” like I was a girl because I had some curls in my hair at that time. The irony of this now, as I look back on it, is that his hair was curly, too. No matter how hard I tried to do something right, it was never right or good enough. He would always find some way to criticize what I did and pick apart the way that I did it. He always let me know that he could have done it better or differently and my way was the stupid way of doing it.
My stepfather also had an explosive temper; he had quite a reputation for it. He was so mean that the local county sheriff was afraid of him. It was so bad that the sheriff refused to serve some papers to my stepfather from the courthouse because he knew this could “set him off.” You see, the sheriff had known my stepfather for many years and he had even ridden with the sheriff’s posse from time to time, so he knew him very well. And he knew if he served my stepfather those papers, he just might explode and kill him.
I suffered for many years “under the hands” of stepfather and for many years following I suffered as well. Even into my early adult life, I suffered from emotional wounds and scars, severely low self-esteem and deep seated rejection issues because of how I was treated by my stepfather. And to add injury to the situation, some of the members of my stepfamily were quite steeped into "absolute or extreme" Pentecost. If you are not familiar with this, absolute or extreme Pentecost is a type of an extremist or absolutism sect of some Pentecostal groups that required you to do as they say without question, but not do as they do. In other words, they used their religion for their own benefit to control and manipulate others in the family.
Their directives or demands to live "their" way and their subsequent actions did not align in the family. In spite of their religious convictions, commonly they would display a very hypocritical side to their beliefs. Unfortunately, there was also a generational anger spirit operating in some of these family members that was never dealt with as well.
Because of this, I really grew “into” a distaste of this religious lifestyle to the point that I wanted no part of it in my life -- it became extremely repulsive to me. I could not accept the belief systems of a religion that wanted you “to do as they said,” but their actions were completely contrary to what they said or said that they believed. The belief system that some of them held was extremely legalistic, with very little evidence in operation of the true fruit of the Spirit of God.
During my High School years, I pursued athletics, and attained a fair amount of local notoriety. I then went to College at Colorado State University, where I sought satisfaction and peace of mind in the pursuits of position, money, women and party life. By the age of 21, I had achieved a position as the Chairman of the Governing Board of an organization that had a $13 million dollar annual operating budget, and an appraised property value of over $33 million. I had also achieved positions as an Inter-Fraternity Council Executive Officer and Fraternity House President. In addition, to these positions, there were many other Greek Honor awards, campus leadership awards and positions that I attained during my college years that are too numerous to mention.
During this season of my life, I sought success through humanistic study and pursuits. I also attained a place of being rather successful financially through work pursuits during my college years. At times, in this season of my life, I had more money than I could spend or knew what do with. I had the best gadgets (toys), and one of the best wardrobes full of clothes of anyone I knew. I had finally arrived at a place in life at a young age where I had become somewhat well known, with a reputation that generally preceded me. Thousands of people knew who I was and recognized me when they saw me. I had finally arrived.
Also, through all this, I developed a façade -- an arrogance that I thought was actually just the veneer of self-confidence that came through all my success. This façade was also inclusive of a womanizing arrogance when it came to meeting women. I thought I did not need anyone, and that I was totally independent and self-sufficient. I was extremely outspoken in my views and opinions, because after all, these experiences really did shape my world during these years in college. I had even taken on an extreme dislike toward people with beliefs in God. I would verbally assault and persecute anyone that confessed a belief in God. For example, one of the nicer things I used to tell them is that “they were an idiot, if they believed there was some “Gray-Haired Grandfather” in Heaven that remembered your birthday. After attaining most of the pinnacles of success on campus, with little else of interest left for me to conquer, I was ready to move on.
After college, I went into the business world and attained a Sales position in a successful company. I was handed a struggling division of a company with a mandate to turn it around. I was again pushing with all I could on this path of “success.” However, in all the things I had attained at a rather young age, I still had a sense in me that something was still missing. With all this success, I still had something eating at me on the inside because I had no real sense of peace. I felt like I still had not satisfied “that” need of feeling that I had finally arrived at the place that I had been striving for in all my pursuits. There was a profound knowing within me that I had not yet reached what I had been looking for and that I needed to press on.
I still kept feeling that if I just got one more position, if I just got this other girl, if I just got this next new “toy,” etc., I would be alright. In attempting to acquire or conquer these different things, I hoped that I would finally find that “thing” in my life I had been missing. People that knew me and were around my life would ask me different variations of this question. They would look at everything in my life and ask, “Why aren’t you happy? You have everything most people would want?” They could not understand my situation because from their perspective, they thought I had about all that anyone in that place in life could want. Yet, it clearly was not enough; this unsettling feeling in my life kept driving me forward onto other pursuits and conquests.
Then all of the sudden, during what seemed like another ordinary day with no special plans for any type of change or reformation in my life, I ran head-on into an experience that changed my life forever.
One day I was fulfilling a commitment to a friend, when all of the sudden, I had an encounter with God. What seemed loud enough to be an almost audible voice spoke to me in a voice that gripped me and definitely got my attention. There was an intensely Holy Presence, and my “cocky” young self was trembling and actually physically shaking in reverence to this Holy Presence. The Spirit of Conviction was so strong: it was overwhelming and was seemingly inescapable. Then His voice said something to me in a tone and manner I don’t think I will ever forget, a tone that was very strong and direct with a definite sense of what seemed like absolute authority to it. His tone was so absolute, the way it came to me, that I really knew there was no true authority higher than this.
There was no reason to question this authority because I knew this tone indicated that it was the final authority on the matter. I was made to know that there was no source of appeal capable of overriding the absoluteness of the source of this voice’s decisions. However, it also had an amazingly loving quality about it as well. Even though it was absolute, I knew the source of this voice truly loved me and genuinely cared about my life. I had a sense that the source of this voice really wanted what He thought was the best for my life while He was speaking to me. He said, “Son, you have had many opportunities to accept Me! Understand, that today, is your last!” Then there was a pause. “If you don’t accept Me today, I am going to wash my hands of you!” The Bible says the Spirit of God shall not always strive with man (Genesis 6).
I can look back now, and in reflecting back on my life, I should have been killed during at least two separate occasions before this experience with God. I can now see that God had His hand of protection over my entire life. I can see looking back now, that His hand had protected me, not only through those two life threatening incidents, but others that I did not even recognize at the time. I now know without any doubt that if I had refused His offer, God would have lifted His hand of protection off of my life, and I would have died probably not long after this encounter with Him. Not that He was evil or mean, but that He had lovingly protected me even in my worst times. You see, I had gotten to a point in my life where I was approaching a place of no return. I was getting to a placed of having a seared conscious and going the way of Cain (read Jude 11). God, in His love and His mercy created a set of crossroads in my life at this point in time to allow me to go down a different pathway. I had refused His pathway before, but this time, it was different. He knew what it would take to get my attention this time.
Prior to this encounter with God, I was running in a wild crowd. For example, a while after this encounter with the Lord, one of the guys I ran around with was shot to death in a drug deal gone wrong. This day, this encounter with God changed my life.
As I stood there in God’s presence, for the first time in my life, I came face to face with a Holy God. In the Bible when Paul was knocked off his horse in the book of Acts, he did not know the name of the person who had done this to him. However, Paul quickly realized that whatever or whoever His name actually was, that He was The Lord and he was to call him that. After calling Him Lord, Paul finds out that His name is Jesus/Yeshua whom Saul (before his name change to Paul), had been persecuting (Acts 9:5). I could relate to this, because all of the sudden there was no question in my mind that He was the Lord God Almighty.
When you come into “that place” of His presence, you don’t need to ask, because you just know, and all the questions about it dissipate. That is the only way I can explain it. In this place of His presence there is nothing that is open to debate about Him being the "Most High God."
Still physically shaking in His presence, I said, "OK, Lord,” then I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and come into my heart and take control of my life. Then, finally, it happened. For the first time in my life, I was flooded with an indescribable peace that I had not known. This was the one thing I had always sought in everything else, but could not find it in any of those other things. I had finally received that peace in my heart. In all my striving, climbing many ladders in my young life, but they never seemed to end up against the right building. After this encounter, I was now confident in my heart, that what had always been unsettled in me was now settled completely. I now had a sense of peace that is hard to describe, but the best way I can describe it is to say that it is completeness or a complete peace.
It is a peace that I can explain as a knowing that it is all okay now, and that what I did was the right response to that encounter. I also somehow knew that my life was different and going to be different from that day forward. Maybe you are reading this book and you have never asked Jesus (English translation) or Yeshua (Hebrew translation) into your heart/life. Yet, having read my story, you feel that you would like to receive this same dynamic of peace in your own life. If this is you, you can receive Jesus into your heart right now. It is an easy process. If you would like this, too, I would like to lead you in a prayer right now for you to receive this peace. Read this prayer out loud and sincerely pray it from your heart to God in Heaven. Even if you have never talked to God before, just say it and trust that He will hear your prayer. I can assure you that He is listening and will hear every word of it. I can also assure you that if you say it to Him sincerely that He not only will hear you, but will grant your/our request(s).