An isolated, mountain lake near Wolf Creek, OR 

 

Interference?

 

Here’s a question for you...does God interfere in our lives?

The answer? I believe He does (see below). But I also believe He intercedes in some lives more than others and in some lives hardly at all.

The difference depends on a person's mental makeup. For example, is a person soft or hard, harsh or gentle, caring or non-caring? People who don’t care for other people, can’t care for God and, as a result, are left alone.

There are exceptions of course. For instance, a person raised in a harsh, uncaring environment might, when shown a different way, have the ability or potential to change. I suspect it’s rare, but that it happens.

I’ve drawn this conclusion by looking at my own life—who I was compared to who I am. I was never a terrorist or harmed anyone, but I was far from honest and didn’t mind taking advantage of someone if it meant a profit for me. Truly, the only things I had going for me was that I liked people and I believed in God. Except for being baptized as a child, that was about it.

As you read this part of my story remember: I've always liked people (generally speaking) and I've always had a relationship, no matter how loose, with God...

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After graduating for Durango high school in 1957, I went straight into the navy, where I intended to stay until I retired. But, things don’t always go as we plan. After my wife left me and our three kids in 1968, I remained in the navy for approximately two more years before the navy bluntly told me to either adopt the kids out, or get out. My commanding officers exact words were, “You’re of no value to us anymore.”

So I got.

It all happened so quickly that I was totally unprepared for civilian life. And, that’s when the real hardships began. In order to support three children plus myself, I needed more money than was normally available for a man just starting out in life with only a high school degree. Looking, I went from one job to another, and in the process, I left Catholicism.

In the early 70s there were two things going on in my personal life; along with trying to trying to find a decent job, I was also in a desperate search for spiritual truth—more than what I found as a Catholic. In my search tried Rosicrucianism, Buddhism and Hinduism, all simultaneously.  

After a few years, I realized these religions left me unfulfilled and, for the first time, began praying for TRUTH! “God, show me the truth.”

There’s no way to explain what was really going on. My search was desperate and I knew there was an absolute reality; an absolute truth and not what someone told me to believe.

There was one other thing plaguing my life at that time: extreme loneliness. There is probably nothing more deadly to the human spirit than loneliness.

I don’t remember the name of the company, but I began selling cable TV in San Jose, and was doing OK—in those days people really wanted cable, so it was easy to sell. But, I was still very lonely and spiritually bereft, so one day when the kids were in school and I had finished work early, I found myself really depressed—something I used to have to contend with periodically. Often when I was depressed I would go to the Eastridge Mall in San Jose. Just being around people normally cheered me up, so going to the mall would snap me out of my funk.

This day it didn’t work. It seemed as though everyone was all caught up in their own worlds, talking and laughing together, making me feel all the more isolated and lonely—like a little island that nobody saw or cared about. The longer I was there the more depressed I became.

Once you’re in a blue funk like that, there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it—you just sink lower and lower.  Anyway, I had reached an all-time low and decided there was only one thing left to do: go home, take my shotgun, put the barrel under my chin, point it upwards, and pull the trigger.

Once I made that decision, I instantly turned and headed for the exit. As I was nearing the exit I began praying, and this is what I said,

“God, I’m sorry to be such a disappointment, but I can’t take anymore.”

What happened next is why I remember what I said. I was almost to the exit when my prayer ended. Immediately two strong hands grabbed me by the shoulders and spun me around in mid step.

If you’ve never had anything like that happen to you, believe me, it’s startling. My next thought was so trite it’s hard to believe it’s actually what I thought, “Alright, if I’m not supposed to commit suicide, I won’t.”

My mind was racing as I tried to figure out what had just happened, it was mind-numbingly stunning. As I walked back into the center of the mall I was on a second story walkway overlooking the main floor below. I walked to a handrail and looked down, I was just in time to watch a dance presentation being put on by the various Bay Area dance studios.

I stood there watching from above as the various artists were warming up by doing practice dance steps, stretches, etc.  And then the show began. It was thrilling and lovely to see.  Every type of dance imaginable was performed by dancers who varied from the graceful old pros, (my age now) to awkward young children.  But they all had one thing in common: each did their very best.

That afternoon, while watching those dancers from above, my dark mood lifted and I was fine.

I finally left when it was time to pick up my children.

 

For years I never told that story because something bothered me. Why was my life spared when so many others before and after have been allowed to carry through? Then one day the answer came. It wasn’t because I was special or favored by God in any way. It was because a major part of my depression was my loss of spiritual grounding. I no longer believed Catholicism, which had been the root of my faith. And, my sojourn into other faiths left me not trusting them, either; probably because I was too critical/cynical at that point.

That was a part of it. The other part was my prayer: I only blamed myself. I didn’t blame Catholics, God, or anyone else. It was my failing, not theirs.

 

So, what about absolute truth?

Did I ever find that?

Ahh, that's what life's all about.

Hmmm.