I just finished reading a fellow blogger’s post about the inadequacy a man can feel when he cannot provide for his family. This primal need to provide is in our DNA. I understand some of the feelings young men are feeling today – a sense of hopelessness and desperation. Let me assure you, you can survive and you must never, ever give up. This is my true story.
In the 1980′s I lived in West Texas which was dependent on the oil and gas industry. That industry almost collapsed from the flood of cheap OPEC oil. I moved to Oklahoma and went back for a second degree in accounting. When I graduated in July, a family friend who helped me get though college could no longer assist me, that was our agreement, and I was appreciative of his assistance. The economy was horrible. I found myself unemployed for the next six months. I had a two year old son who had a horrible ear infection requiring tubes. I was lucky to get the procedure accomplished on the last day of my insurance.
In order to stave off bankruptcy and foreclosure, I worked three jobs, seven days a week to provide the missing gap of our income. My wife, God love her, earned the majority of the income and she had no college degree. That reality had me very down. What was all this education for? I applied for 1,000 jobs and had approximately 300 interviews in those six months. One evening during a heavy thunderstorm I approached an intersection where the traffic lights flashed all three colors. I observed the cars ahead of me. They slowed down, but never stopped. So I believed this to be the appropriate thing to do. Unfortunately I went through the intersection and broad-sided a woman. She was injured and my car totaled. Now we were down to just one auto and the thought of injuring a person haunted me with grief. No job offers were coming and Christmas was nearing. It took a 12-pack of beer per night for me to get to sleep. We ate beans and cornbread almost on a daily basis. I was nearing the bottom of my existence. I prayed to God to help me. I asked for a job as my only gift to provide for my wife and son.
On Christmas Eve, at seven o’clock my faith in the world was coming to an end. When, from out of the blue, the phone rang. It was a CPA firm offering me a job to start on January 3rd! With tears in my eyes, I humbly accepted the position, even though the pay was very low. It was the chance to start over again, a renewal, a rebirth of faith and a belief that I could indeed survive just about anything thrown at me.
If you are a person that has no belief system, you will discount this as mere coincidence. And that is fine with me; this is your free will. I will not try to convince you otherwise. I will not attempt to belittle you with religious quotes, etc. Go and be happy with life.
For those that have faith, just know that life is precious and prayers do not always arrive at the time you want them. Sometimes prayers are answered at the very deepest point of our despair, where our faith and belief system is being tested. How will you respond? Will you give up? Will you denounce all that you believe in, because the world did not turn just for your needs? These are the fundamental questions of our being.
If you ever take the chance of reading my mythology – The Chosen One of Allivar, you will see some of this real life experience play out in the final story “Last Stand of the Living”, where Arimar the hero is being tested to his lowest level of despair. How will it turn out?
Will the Unseen hear his and others pleas? What message is to be delivered from the near loss of paradise and all human existence? Life is a journey on bumpy and uneven roads. There are detours and forks in the road requiring us to make decisions and sometimes take a leap of faith when the answer is not obvious. But the journey is well worth it, even until the last breath.
Take it from a man who is now 53 years old, who heard stories from his elders of the Great Depression and World War II. Evil forces are working hard for the destruction of all. Never, ever give up and always fight the good fight!
E.W. Greenlee is a Christian Author. This essay originally appeared on his blog.