Author’s Note: I understand that this is getting long, but I’m using it to illustrate several points that I will bring together at the end of the story. Please bear with me.
After what seemed like years in the desert, a wonderful thing happened. Patrick met the woman of his dreams. They were very much alike, having been abused and wounded by people and circumstances, and they both found comfort in each other’s company. They eventually got married and started a family.
The drive to achieve the American Dream kicked into a higher gear. New houses, new cars, home furnishings… The cycle seemed to be endless. Make more money, spend more money. Hopping from one treadmill to another with each successive one running at a higher speed than the one before. Family life was wonderful, but supporting it at such a high level was exhausting. Of course, there really wasn’t an alternative, was there? Everyone else he knew was doing the same thing.
When Patrick renewed his relationship with God, it happened without warning. Certain events in his life revealed to him the hand of God working behind the scenes and instead of running away he turned and embraced the faith he had left so long ago. He felt a level of peace and joy that he had never known before. It wasn’t long before he was involved in all sorts of church activity, Bible studies, retreats, small groups…all the usual things churches do these days. It was with some reluctance that he even allowed himself to be drawn into the church worship team. In fact, he didn’t so much volunteer as get drafted as soon as another church member found out he was a former musician.
After a while, Patrick was getting pretty tired. He still had his day job, plus all the church activities he was involved in, not to mention his family, which was where his heart really was. The expectations were piling up faster than he could manage them. What could he do?
He started wondering if this could be all life was about, the continuous activity, busyness and committments. The joy was draining away. His job had become a tiresome bore, but his lifestyle was hopelessly hooked on the salary he was making. He wanted out, but couldn’t figure out where to go or how to pull it off. His desire was to get off the treadmill and experience the abundant life Jesus had promised his followers. He started praying for God to show him the way out.
One day, years later, the opportunity came unexpectedly. Patrick and his wife learned of a local business that was up for sale. It would take courage to make the jump from corporation to self-employment, but the time was now or never. They decided to go for it!
To be continued…