January 21, 2014

detail from Bill Martin painting

I was on a weekend trip at one of my favorite places, Norris Lake, TN back in September 2013. I went down with 3 of my friends, but the day I saw him, I was not getting along with them that well. Before that trip, I had quit a lot of my vices. The big one being alcohol, but also tobacco, caffeine, and that day weed. I was clean for a day for the first time in a long time.

Though that was true for me, my friends were on their way to getting pretty drunk that day. I have no issues with others choices, but them getting drunk was holding me back from exploring Norris Lake. Instead of sitting around with them, watching them get wasted, I decided to do my own thing and explore.
I had one of the best days of my life on my own, but by the end of the day, I had felt like I had ran a gauntlet. My body was cut everywhere. I had thorns everywhere, just because I pretty much HAD to get a closer look at this tree (worth it). While building a fire, I also had a log partially fracture my leg. Either way, it was still one of the most fulfilling days of my life, but it was not over.
At the end of the night, the sky was extremely clear. I had been an amateur star gazer for the prior year, and had always looked for the void. Unfortunately, I could never see it at home because of light pollution. That night though, I was able to see it, and it almost brought me to tears how beautiful it was. I even ran to fetch my friends, because I knew it would be a once in awhile opportunity to see it, but when I brought it to their attention, they did not seem to care whatsoever because they were far too inebriated.
Now, one thing I forgot to mention. Prior to this moment, I was quickly becoming an atheist. Up until college, I had always believed, but after that, my faith started to wain. Even during that day, I distinctly remember telling a friend that God did not exist. That is besides the point though, back to the story.
Annoyed by my friends ¬†lack of caring, I walked back down to the dock, and laid on my back staring at the beautiful stars again.¬†While I was lying on that dock, I was mad and awed at the same time. I was furious that friends could be so drunk, that they did not care about seeing the void. I was so mad that my inner dialogue started thinking about hell (even though I hadn’t believed in a long time). I said to myself “fu*k this place, i’d rather be in hell than be here if people no longer care about beauty anymore..at least its warm there” I sat and even contemplated a deal with the devil.
I was getting very dark at this point, but all of sudden a switch went off in my head and I said “NO, I don’t want to go hell. If there is a heaven I would do anything to get there.” I sat and prayed for a minute (for the first time in a long time) and all of sudden the sky exploded with shooting stars. I had seen a few prior to that, but at that moment, I saw every bit of 15 shooting stars all at once.
If that wasn’t incredible enough, at that moment, what seemed like a spotlight came from the sky.. directly upon me. Common sense was trying to come up with anything that it could be, but nothing was coming to mind. The only thing that did come to mind was that it had to be God’s shining light. He had found me for some reason.
The only reasoning I have come up with, is that he knew how lost I was. Like I said, I told a friend there was no God, and even contemplated going to hell in the same day. I thank him everyday for finding me. Nothing was told at that time, but a lot of amazing things have been happening since. I also keep hearing intuitively that I am meant for something BIG, and to be prepared. To this day, I am not sure what that is, but I continue to pray, and wait for what that could be. For those that are still looking, I promise you, he is listening.