As a young child ... I believe I had an inner perception that there was a God ... and that, in my case, I felt extremely blessed. I was healthy, physically fit, intelligent, and got along well with others. In sports, I was typically more than competitive. I performed well ahead of my class in school, could speak the language, had two parents, and was seemingly doing quite well.
I recall looking up to the sky and saying, "Thank You."In later years, I don't know that I remained as close to this God I felt I had acknowledged, nor the ONE that might be variously described by others. I'm certain there was a distance from my being constantly aware of this presence. I also especially recall responding in an extremely positive way, inside, every time I examined any version of the New Testament.
By the time I reached College, I suspect there were a number of experiences, resulting in a certain "self doubt" that also included questioning intellectually the notion of a God or a Jesus, etc. The longer I went through the educational process ... the less "self confident" I became ... there was very little God.
At the age of 26, I discovered, specifically, the Dale Carnegie Courses ... and proceeded on what I would describe as a self improvement path ... self improvement in my skills, self improvement in my self confidence, self improvement in relating with others. I found this particular path VERY REWARDING. Through many experiences, I felt I improved as a person.
There came a time when it was suggested I could "teach." MMMM ... you had to be a lot better at "this" to be an "instructor" than you did to be even a "good student." MMMM ... We believe you can do it ... you believe you might be able to do it ... and if you can ... YOU'll BE THAT MUCH BETTER. O.K. I'll try. I did ... and apparently I became better. I think so. I began speaking to groups, coaching many more people, increasing my own performance ... and helping others increase theirs as well.
BUT ... there WAS STILL that certain sort of EMPTINESS you may have heard or read others describe. Perhaps you've even felt it yourself. There was still a feeling of LACK OF WORTHINESS. Even though I could sort of subjectively see that I was capable of becoming a "better and better" person .... was I the better person I would really "love" to become ? The goals of my heart had a tendency to seem a great deal bigger than many people might even attempt to achieve, let alone, "little old me."
Something told me I was not there yet ... and something told me, intellectually, that the "tool" to use was to consider the UNIVERSE ... how BIG it was ... and how small my need. That seemed to give me more CONFIDENCE. After a short period of "experimenting" with UNIVERSAL principles, and others who claimed to be doing the same, I personally REALIZED, felt, there appeared to be more to this UNIVERSAL thing than met the ORDINARY EYE. Indeed, there might perhaps be a GREAT MANY spiritual things going on in THIS UNIVERSE ... and, to stay out of trouble ... I MIGHT NEED TO PICK A SIDE.
I believe the Bible refers to this phenomenon as a "battle between principalities and powers." In my case, I picked Jesus, as that correct side. I began searching for the BETTER EXPERIENCE I felt I needed to BELIEVE, to KNOW as much as might be possible, this was indeed a CORRECT PATH.
Ultimately, I ASKED ( Ask and It Shall Be Given Unto You ), for a particular EXPERIENCE, that would CONFIRM, HIS PRESENCE, to ME. In a short time, I received EXACTLY the EXPERIENCE I HAD ASKED FOR ... in an unmistakeable way. I BECAME CONVINCED.
I spent some time studying the Bible. Reading the words ... discussing them often with myself, with others, and with my God. Somewhere toward late Spring, 1978, I was driving my car East on Hi 50 in South Lake Tahoe California, when I heard the "inaudible" voice of God.
This voice said, " I have a Son for You." I have described it as inaudible because to my senses it was exactly as it would have been had I HEARD the voice ... except that I could also tell THERE WAS NO SOUND.
I found this voice, quite remarkable in itself.
I couldn't help but RESPOND, " I don't even have a girl friend."
I didn't think that totally much about this voice, until several months later. A particular young lady, with whom I was sharing what in those days could have been called "recreational sex," had stopped taking her birth control pills, without my knowledge, and announced she was pregnant.
"What shall we do?" she asked.Having heard that voice what would I say.
"We'll get married."
Together we tried our best to adjust to the new circumstances of our relationship, I, perhaps easier than she. I have always considered myself the "family" sort.The child was born, our son Jon, and at the age of 7 months, Jon's mother left the household and, and except for the short time after it took to acquire a divorce, has never been heard from since. It was a tremendous adjustment for me. MAJOR ADJUSTMENTS ... like buying the right kinds of food and "doing the dishes" ... being both the "Mom" and the "Dad." I remember even some of the simplest things seemed significantly traumatic. And yet ... somehow ... with the help of that same God ... we prospered. Shortly, we had moved into a new beautiful house on the golf course, rented a big black piano for Dad to play in the window, hired a wonderful "grandmother" who cared for the house and Jon during the day, and who provided the nice kind of encouragement when Dad came home from work. Changing diapers was no big deal, I learned all about that with my first son.