Friday, February 8, 2019

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

I really like some of Will Rogers’ sayings. He was a very wise man who had a lot of common sense. And so, it’s no surprise that YHWH used Mr. Rogers to get me on the “right track” toward becoming a Believer. It happened back in 1993, approximately a year after a messy divorce from a mentally abusive “recovering alcoholic” control freak who also happened to be bisexual….

Oh, that sham of a marriage had been horrible! It had literally sucked the life force out of me; and my only goal was to see El Paso in the rearview mirror the day I packed my suitcase, grabbed my dog and pointed my car down the road to "anywhere." Numb with anger, shame and grief over yet another failed relationship (because I’ve always had a tendency to pick "losers"), I ended up in Springfield, Missouri, where I had graduated from high school 24 years before.

Having recently been retired from a very successful and rewarding career as a US Army journalist, I just wanted a fresh start. I didn’t know what lay ahead, and I didn’t really have a plan. All I knew was, I was tired; tired and depressed and longing for that terrible aching in my heart to go away. It was like my heart had this hole in it that couldn’t be filled or fixed.

Anyway, proverbial long story short, while connecting with some old friends in Springfield, I was invited to attend a Sunday morning Singles group meeting at one of the churches – something I immediately rejected as I wanted NOTHING to do with men or church! Period. Too many bad experiences with both.

Plus, I didn’t really want to “put down roots” or risk getting into a relationship because I wasn’t sure what my future held. At age 42, I was lost and aimless in those days - and having to start all over again, was downright depressing. I had no clue whether or not I would stay in Missouri because, in all honesty, that place held so many horrific childhood memories. Matter of fact, I didn’t really know why I had chosen to return! It was almost like my car had just kind of headed there on its own….

So, long story short, I moped around for many months. Tried to find a job to supplement my military retirement income, but my nerves were too raw. I couldn’t be around people. And so I stayed holed up in my little rental house, playing with my dog and taking long walks. My life was at a complete standstill – and I didn’t know what to do about it. Moreover, I didn’t care to do anything about it. It was almost as if I was happy being mired in misery.

Truth be told, I was actually used to being miserable and unhappy. My entire life had been one disaster after the next, as far as personal relationships were concerned, so this was nothing new, really. This time, though, I seemed to be in a complete rut, stuck in neutral, not knowing what to do or which way to turn. And that “not caring” thing was a new twist for me. Something simply wasn’t right.

Looking back, I’m sure that’s why God intervened - even though I wasn't a true "believer" back then. Yes, I "believed in God," but I had no clue what to do with Him; and so, He reached out to me in ways I could understand.

And He did it early on one Sunday morning by waking me up from vivid dream that left me completely shaken. In the dream, I was sitting at the very top of a steep roller-coaster track with the wind blowing on my face, watching throngs of tiny people milling around below. No one seemed to notice that I was perched at the summit of the track; no one cared. I was all alone, just sitting there, too numb to wonder why I was there or how I got there..

Somehow, a uniformed police officer materialized on a motorcycle that came to rest near my feet. “Hello, ma’am,” he said. “What are you doing here?”

“I don’t know,” I replied lethargically.

“Well,” he said, after some moments, “you need to leave.”

“Why?”

“Because you can’t stay here, ma’am.”

When I awoke, I lay there for a few minutes, wondering why on earth I would have had a dream like that, because I’ve always hated roller-coasters. But shortly thereafter, while sitting at the kitchen table, staring into space while holding a steaming hot cup of coffee with both hands, it hit me:

“EVEN IF YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK, YOU’LL GET RUN OVER IF YOU JUST SIT THERE!”

It came seemingly out of nowhere - that saying by Oklahoma’s “favorite son” Will Rogers.

I was stunned, for I had read that saying somewhere many years before - and suddenly here it was, like some lighthouse beacon telling me to snap out of my depression and DO something!

And so I did. Recognizing this incident as "some kind of a sign" on that sunny Sunday morning, I forced myself to get up and take a shower, get myself dressed, and go to that church’s singles group meeting.

It was a move that would change my life in ways I never dreamed - because it was through that particular singles group, that I ended up dating a man who, on our first date, took me to his hometown Baptist church (yes, big surprise - a church!) where the Holy Spirit wasted no time "opening my spiritual eyes" … which changed my life in ways I never imagined….

The funny thing is, I didn’t really want to date that man because he was a “Bible thumper.” (My adoptive father – a raving pedophile who had molested me for years – was a “Bible thumper!” So, in my mind, “religious folks” were all hypocrites and frauds…)

But the man I dated wasn’t a hypocrite or a fraud. The bottom line was that we weren’t meant to be a “forever” couple; YHWH had lots of other plans for me, and He had simply used him to “lead me to the Lord” – to put me “on the right track,” so to speak.

But, oh, the places He took me to, once I was on that track … and it was all because I had had the good sense to listen to that dream He gave me during one of the darkest periods of my life!

HALLELUYAH! Praises be to ADONAI Rapha, ADONAI Nissi, ADONAI Yireh, El Shaddai!

John 15:16 You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you. (CJB)

Psalm 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (ESV)

Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know what plans I have in mind for you,' says ADONAI,'plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. 12 When you call to me and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly; 14 and I will let you find me,' says ADONAI…. (CJB)

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