THE BEST KEPT SECRET
In December of 2004 my life changed forever. Shortly after Christmas that year my wife asked for a divorce, Because of circumstances that were completely out of my control, I lost my wife and kids in what seemed like moments. I called my best friend in Columbus, Ohio, to give him the bad news. He was crushed. Jeff was heading to Paris, France to ring in the new year, but before he left he gave me one piece of advice (talk to God, he said) What a great thing to tell an atheist!
I remember waking up the first Saturday after Christmas and going out into the living room and seeing the girls asleep on the floor. My mind started to wander. I got dressed and jumped in my truck and drove down to the beach to clear my head. What would I do without her? What would happen to my relationship with my daughters? Is there even a life after all this? I spent about 10 minutes driving down Atlantic Ave in Virginia Beach when I realized that I could not see where I was going (crying) so I decided to pull over before I killed somebody or myself. When I looked up after parking my truck I realized I was parked in a church parking lot. Off to my left was a 15 foot tall statue of Christ on the cross and at that moment Jeff’s words rang in my ears (Talk to God). Jeff asked me to be very honest about what was on my heart.
I got out of my truck and walked over to that statue and I started to talk. People began showing up to go into Church and I watched them while I was talking to some steel and concrete. I got tired and had to kneel. I had too much energy and soon had to stand , then kneel once more , up down, up down all the while talking to a statue. Soon the people came out of the church. The parking lot emptied out and I stayed there talking. Then it filled up with a whole new group of Jesus freaks!
I looked like a bum with a leather jacket, boots, torn up jeans. I was very honest with God that day; I asked what about my life? What would happen to my kids?
What would happen to my marriage? Who am I? Who is he? People walking passed me would walk around me. I finally got mad after this lady and her husband stepped off the side walk to avoid me. "I'M NOT A BUM!" I yelled to the woman, "I just want answers!" Her husband was a tall and very large man who turned around and looked at me. WOW. . . I thought I was going to die. He walked up and placed one hand on my shoulder and said “Keep talking to Him, son, you will find the answers.”
After that I stayed there talking out loud, I was kneeling when an ant crawled onto my hand, I asked God, is this a sign, God? Do I let it bite me (it did)? Now what, God? What does this red mark mean? A car drove by and honked its horn. I turned and it was a red VW bug. What is this God? Red car Red bite on my hand? Do I follow? ANSWER ME!!!
He never did answer me. . . so I gave up (thanks a lot Jeff, great advice). I decided to walk away. This God thing was a joke. I found myself at the steps of the church. Why not go in and have a laugh. I stood in the back of the church and listened for a moment. "We have a guest speaker here today." He was from Lansing, Michigan. I listened as this guy came out and started talking. What did he just say? Is he talking about me? It seemed that way. Had he been behind that statue the whole time or was God real? He talked about everything I had asked God about and it was at that moment that an atheist met God.
My life has never been the same and I have never cared more for the people in my life or the people who I serve each day. It has made being a personal trainer such a joy. Knowing that I get to share the BEST KEPT SECRET with everyone I meet and coach. Christ died on the cross for us all. It is that simple.
If you read this, it was not by accident, look in your heart as I did.
Revelation 3:20 (New International Version)
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.