After 20 years of faithful, hard work we sold our business, and moved into what we thought was retirement in November of 2006.
Then, about 9 months later I was hit with a fairly large depression from having no challenge in my life, by October of 2008 our cash assets were nearly half of what they were, thanks to a profound stock market crash, and to top that all off, in March of 2009, the gentleman who bought our business decided to stop paying the balance of the note, and ended our income stream.
To be honest, all of this completely rocked my world. It all seemed so unfair. We had accomplished all this with integrity, and were good stewards of our earnings.
Why was this happening?
The only thing I knew to do, while laying in a heap of ashes, was to go back to the very beginning. If you drill down deep enough, you will find yourself asking, "who am I, why do I exist, and what is this life all about?"
As I see it, you really only have two choices, you believe in God, or you don't.
Therefore, if you boil this whole thing called life down to one thing, and ask the question: why am I here? The answer, I believe, is to know God.
That being the case, I decided, for the first time in my life, to read the whole of the Bible.
Today, the last day of 2009, I have just completed my first journey through the Bible. To be completely frank, it was not an easy journey. It seems that I had no idea who God was, and had built this inaccurate view from 52 years of skimming across the top of the water of God's word.
The second thing that comes to mind is that I now have a far better idea of who I am. Through our business success, I was unknowingly harboring a great deal of pride. I suppose, the only way for me to see, and understand this, was for the source of my pride, my business success, to be completely rocked.
I am thankful that our life isn't shattered, but rocked it certainly is.
My mind is whirling with things that I have learned. But to rehash it all here would be most time consuming for you. I have written over 900 posts in this blog, laying bare for you the journey. Many of these posts were written with tears streaming down my cheeks as I began to learn.
Let me end this post with a few lessons from Moses in Psalm 90:
- the Lord Yahweh is eternal.
- but man's life is fleeting.
- we are brought to an end by God's wrath (the hard one to get through our stiff necks)
- but then, teach us wisdom and establish our work.
Or, this from my reading in Isaiah today:Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
2 All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.
Or, even greater still, from the last words of Christ in Revelation:
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
My worldview is completely changed. My life is in the process of changing.
I am not really given to New Years resolutions. But if I was, I would borrow this one from David Powlison (via Justin Taylor):
"I now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, that I will endeavor to live as becomes a follower of Christ"
I am looking forward to another journey through the Bible this year, and with all my heart I cry, come, Lord Jesus, come.
See you next year, and thank you for being a loyal reader of this blog.