Remote trail, Sierra National Forest, Central California
June 27, 2021
First, every person has a path in life that God wants you to travel down. It is the most productive and best path that you can choose to take. Even the non-religious or unchurched people, if they have a belief in God’s existence, can find their path if they’re open to and pursue his thoughts and his will. He can communicate in many and varied ways, so stay closely attuned to his voice.
First, I will give you a summary of the path that I’ve taken in life from a young age until now–I am presently 73 years old. This will give you a concrete example of what ‘path’ means, and show you that it can lead you through many choices and various forks in the road, where you will have to make decisions, adjust, and change. Be ready for an exhilarating and wonder-filled experience, but also, many times a difficult and slow slog that will require patience and endurance. God will help you create your path as you go, and if you happen to make a wrong turn he will show you how to get back on track. No two people have exactly the same path in life, so don’t worry if yours doesn’t match someone else’s.
I was born into the Catholic faith and attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school. I can remember thinking about God and wondering what life was all about starting from about 5 years old. I never really doubted God’s existence, but I needed to know a lot more about him and religion before I could commit my life to them. At approximately 16 years old I started reading my parents’ Bible, but it was filled with ‘thees’ and ‘thous’, and I had a hard time getting into it. After high school I attended college, ran on the track team, got good grades, and enjoyed the 4 year’s experience. After I graduated I went on to graduate school, mainly because the Viet Nam war was raging and I didn’t want to be drafted, had no clue what career I should pursue, and figured that with an advanced degree I would earn a higher salary regardless of what employment I took. During all of my college years I continued to attend church regularly, valued what was good, and tried to live the best life that I could. While I was working on my Master’s degree I began to get frustrated, though, because I had no steady girlfriend and really no definite direction or specific goal for my life. Then a big break came into my life and plopped itself into my lap. At the time, my oldest brother, who worked for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in Washington DC, told me that new jobs would be opening up in the satellite imagery analysis and readout area where he worked, and that I might want to apply for a job. I excitedly did, and after much testing and probing of my life which took some time, I got the job and moved to Virginia in June of 1973. I was 25 years old. Up until this time in my life I didn’t pray much to God for guidance, but now felt that I needed some help. I turned to prayer, started regularly watching religious TV shows, bought a modern language Bible, and started reading it in earnest. This was really my first definitive effort to find my way, my path in life. My primary goal at that time was to search out making a personal contact with God and establishing a relationship with him, in order to really understand life and find my true purpose.
The TV shows that I began watching focused on a new phenomenon that I was super interested in known as being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, having a supernatural insight into life, and an ability to see what lay beyond typical everyday efforts to please God, go to church, and live a good life. This is what I always wanted! One evening, as I lay on my bed thinking about this phenomenon, I was wondering about just how to go about receiving it. As I was thinking to myself, a distinct thought seemingly from God came into my mind that said, “Why don’t you just try it right now?” Actually, I was a little afraid and somewhat hesitant to try this new and unusual experience, but this challenge from God gave me courage and pushed me to go ahead and try it. I took a deep breath, opened my mouth as I lay flat on my back, and started to speak random sounds towards heaven above. Immediately, an unknown but fluent language poured with ease out of my mouth and astonished me. I could simply speak this new language on and on for as long as I wanted, and I was filled with a kind of ecstasy, peace, and feeling of deep contentment. It was very soothing and exhilarating. I went on for quite some time when it dawned on me that I was fully engulfed by the presence of God, the Holy Spirit. The supernatural had entered my life in a palpable way, something that I had wanted and been requesting. This descent of the Holy Spirit upon me, like on the Apostles at Pentecost in the Bible, changed my life permanently!
I learned quickly that with the Spirit came wisdom, love, power, truth, peace, direction, answers to my questions, and best of all, specific direction for me in my life. The Holy Spirit led me to read my Bible every morning, along with morning prayer, and follow the direction that God would give me each day. I have continued this morning routine virtually every day since then, and this has made all the difference in my life! This resulted in my resigning from the CIA within about a year, moving back to my home state of California, and returning to college for another year in order to earn teaching credentials for elementary school, high school, and Junior College. I ended up teaching elementary school for 3 years, and then finally switching to teaching high school math as my main career for 32 more years. All of this was directed and powered by the Holy Spirit living within me. I honestly never thought that I was even capable of being a teacher, even though the voice of what I later realized was God, told me over and over again from about 19 years of age, “You are going to be a teacher!” The real presence of God in my life finally made this declaration a reality, despite the fact that I rebuffed that supernatural voice for many years, thinking that an extremely shy boy like me simply could not do it! I finally came to understand what the Bible meant when it said, “With God, all things are possible.”
The primary truth that I want everyone reading this to know, is that the key to finding your path in life is to pursue God personally until you know that he has entered your spirit in a real way. The Holy Spirit will then lead you to your path in life, and then direct you the rest of the way until you die and enter heaven. Take comfort in Jesus’s words to his disciples concerning the Holy Spirit’s ability to lead you along your specific path in life: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. When he comes, however, being the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” John 16, 12-13 For me, the path I went down after I started teaching was to marry a beautiful girl and have and raise 9 children with her; coach high school track and cross country; have a very successful career teaching high school math; endure abandonment by my wife; retire from teaching; write a book called Know the Truth; being forced to divorce my wife; starting the blog, Journey to Truth, that you are now reading; and being cured of leukemia, skin cancer, and heart problems. That summarizes my thrilling, successful, and interesting life thus far, with, I’m sure, much more to come!
To find your true path in life, you must enter into a personal partnership with God. Without that, you may find a path on your own, but it will always be tainted and stunted by your flawed human nature, with its inadequate wisdom, personal weaknesses, and sinfulness. Jesus’s own orientation to God the Father should be your starting point:
“Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he told them: ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’ At this the disciples said to one another, ‘Do you suppose that someone has brought him something to eat?’ Jesus explained to them: ‘Doing the will of him who sent me and bringing his work to completion is my food.'” John 4, 31-34
This same food should constitute our path in life as well–fulfilling God’s will, not in fulfilling our own personal wills. This is the antithesis of what we are urged to do in America today. Fulfilling yourself, being true to yourself, and seeking pleasure and accomplishments for satisfying your own personal desires, is the ubiquitous message that we hear shouted out continually in our day. This will surely thwart your true and holy path in life, if you let it. Our true path is to serve God and serve others. When you do this with the power of God from within, your efforts will not feel obligatory, burdensome, exhausting, or tedious, but instead full of joy, zeal, hope, and success. Even though your path may at times be hard and you may have to endure ridicule by those watching you, it will be sustained by God’s power, direction, and light:
“Jesus spoke to them once again: ‘I am the light of the world. No follower of mine shall ever walk in darkness; no, he shall possess the light of life.'” John 8, 12
And, lastly, don’t worry about feeling inadequate to find your path or being unable to follow it. God will enlighten you, strengthen you, and give you wisdom. Jesus shows us the way, which is getting it from God–follow it and you can’t go wrong:
“The feast was half over by the time Jesus went into the temple area and began to teach. The Jews were filled with amazement and said, ‘How did this man get his education when he had no teacher?’ This was Jesus’s answer: ‘My doctrine is not my own; it comes from him who sent me. Any man who chooses to do his will will know about this doctrine–namely, whether it comes from God or is simply spoken on my own. Whoever speaks on his own is bent on self-glorification. The man who seeks glory for him who sent him is truthful, there is no dishonesty in his heart.'” John 7, 14-18