In 1991 I was a student at NCSU and things were going well, or so I thought. I was actively taking scuba diving trips to northern Florida’s caverns and the keys, I obtained my private pilot’s license, and had a fast black motorcycle. Life to me, at that time in my life, was a continual pursuit.
It was after a failed circuits exam that I began to really question my life – I had become bone-weary of this pursuit and was ready to quit. I told God to take my life and do whatever He wanted – if only he’d give me some purpose, peace, and rest.
First, I stopped drinking; completely. All these years later – no alcohol. Second, I began to trust God with my decisions. Instead of pursuing the next hobby or passing fancy, I surrendered to let God build my life according to His leading. Finally…peace.
My career in Lean Six Sigma requires that I solve problems. Some of them are straightforward, but many have been very complex. In over (30) years of consulting and over 1 million miles on Delta airlines, I’ve relied on God’s insight and strength. From St. Louis to Towanda to Cincinnati to West Monroe and 100’s of cities in between, the number of times I’ve asked for His help and insight are countless. I’ve never traveled alone.
My relationship with God today is the reason that peace is a part of my life. Perfection – nope. As I share with you in the video below, I abandoned the ‘checklist approach to faith’ a long, long time ago.
Naturally with my profession, we teach teams to be more strategic. One offshoot of this work is what we are calling a ‘bema jar.’
Every week I take a moment to drop a marble in a jar. Why? The marbles represent time, or more importantly, the passing of time. I take a quiet moment and reflect on the past week. Did I take time to worship and thank God? Did I abide with Him? When the concerns of the world came in, did I go to Him?
I then pray about the upcoming week. What can I do that’s lasting and impactful? Where does God want me to go? Who does God want me to be with?
Now all that’s left to do is live. I go and run my race. I number my days and make each one count. Finally, I pick up a marble and put it in my pocket for the week ahead as a constant reminder.
Over the decades that I’ve been walking with the Lord, I’ve experienced some wonderful seasons, but also some difficult trials. I’ve learned that growth and maturity come through periods where I don’t have the answers (stop talking) and seek to learn more about God’s plan and intentions (start listening, reading).
I love my children. One of my daughters is married, one is graduating from college soon, and then there are the four boys. The oldest is in college, the second is a special needs wonder, and the two youngest are forever challenging me to be…younger. (I’m holding my own at present!)
I love our non-profit company and doing work in that ministry. Some of my closest brothers and sisters in Christ live in India and Pakistan. Knowing them has forever changed my life and perspective of the world.
I love water skiing behind the Mastercraft Prostar.
I love flying in the Mooney.
I love Westover church.
I love F3.
Do you know the funny thing? In 1991 He knew what I would grow to love. He knew. After I surrendered, He helped a floundering sinner get on a path to discover and unfold wonders that He had planned all along from the beginning.
What About You?
How do others describe you? I hope that you can share a story that includes a personal relationship with God. When this relationship exists, the hallmarks are plainly visible. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, and self-control.
The history of man continues to be a story of self-reliance. Self-dependence. And in the end an attempt at being self-righteous; all apart from God. As my young children have said through the years, “I do it myself.”
Whether you want to live apart from a checklist, as the video above references, or more information about the Bema jar, please feel free to contact me through our website.