But yet, how can a guy who has watched his youth slide down the drain over the last twenty-six years still possibly believe he will accomplish anything for the kingdom of God? After all, he’s been nothing but a failure so far. What’s changed for him?
My journey began a few weeks after my salvation in 1985 when I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart that I would be a writer and own a publishing company. Since that moment, I have focused myself on achieving that goal. Whether I worked as a maintenance man fixing toilets in a motel or as a delivery man for a pizzeria, I thought of myself as a writer and a publisher. To me, the jobs were nothing more than temporary bridges to my real career.
Reality Check #1: To date, I have no books printed or published nor do I have any other authors under contract for my (in name only) publishing company.
On December 24, 1993, I was going through the motions of spending time in prayer before heading off to be with my family for Christmas. But as I waited on the Lord, I had a vision.
In it, I saw thousands and thousands of starving children in Africa. They were screaming at the top of their lungs because of their painful hunger. The mothers held the children and the fathers stood next to them. All of the parents stared at me with pleading eyes…would I help them? Please!
The screams echoed in my ears and pierced my heart. I fell to my knees and wept so much I thought the anguish would swallow me up.
Then, the screams stopped, and the vision disappeared into a total blackness. As I caught my breath, the Holy Spirit said, “They don’t cry much after three days.”
After that, I wept even more. (Later I learned that when starving children quit crying, the process is almost irreversible. They just slowly, passively die.)
When the vision ended, the Holy Spirit directed me to start a paint contracting company so that I could help the poor and hungry. I agreed.
Reality Check #2: My first experience as a painting contractor was a total failure. It ended with me hearing the Lord speak to my heart on July 8, 1994, “Son, you have been deceived.” (This is chronicled under #6 of my teachings.) All other attempts at being a painting contractor have been little more than stopgap fingers in our leaky financial dams.
Reality Check #3: To date, I have given just pennies to help the poor and the hungry.
So, what’s changed for me?
But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16: 2-3)
The season of my life has changed. How do I know? I discerned it. This does not mean you can notice a difference in me, but I feel a new drumbeat, one which tells me it’s time to stand up and move.
In the weeks ahead, I will relate more about what’s happening in my life now, rather than always looking at the past.