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OTHER ITA SITES:
Got Gift? Don't Worry You'll Get It
Imagine a twelve year old boy about to experience his coming of age ritual. He is told that among his peers in this ceremony, he and he alone must not neglect the gift he has for it was given him by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon him.
"What gift?" he cries. But his desperate query is met only with the all knowing smiles of those around him. A redirect of "No, seriously what is my gift?" produces no further response. A final, "How am I supposed to not neglect it, if I don't know what it is?" yields nothing as the rite of passage begins.
So goes my story from some 43 years ago. When the mystical command from First Timothy 4:14 was inscribed in my bible on the day of my confirmation into the Lutheran Church. Back then my attention span was, well, that of a twelve year old. Thoughts of food, music, TV, movies, sports, cars and, suddenly, even girls quickly supplanted this call to pursue my true calling.
A few years later I was packing for college. I spied that bible on my sparsely populated book shelf. "What was that verse again?" I found the inscription and read the passage anew, still nothin'. Pastor L, the minister who stuck me with the words, had left our church and our area. So I couldn't very well ask him about it now. Ah well, it would keep. I placed the book back on the shelf and left for school. I would have plenty of new books to study. Besides I had thoughts of food, music, girls, sports, studying, living on my own and, suddenly, young women to occupy my brain.
Some thirty-five years later, I was unpacking our household as we moved into our new home and there in my hand was that bible. Oh ya, First Timothy and the gift again. This time I set out to find Pastor L. If I had been neglecting this gift for 40 years, I was going to be in big trouble with those prophetic elders. I had to find him. Google and People Finder generated a full name, a physical address and, more importantly, an email address. "Dear Pastor L. NOW will you tell me what my gift is?" A few days went by and the reply came. "You probably want my dad I wasn't even born in 1966. He's in the process of moving. I will forward your information to him as soon as he gets settled." Thoughts of food, a new job, a new house, movies, sports and grand children quickly supplanted my desire to fulfill my destiny.
About 18 months ago, at the age of 54, I determined that while the software industry had been very, very good to me it was time for me to think about a different career. As I entered my second adulthood, I identified five new career paths to investigate. My research and related activities lead me to write a 92,000 word novel about a utopian community built on the premise of, what else, not neglecting our gifts. Then, hand to God, the hand of God delivered two things to me on February 15th, 2008. The first was ten "proof" copies of my paperback book. The second, an email from Pastor L asking, among other things, when he was going to see my name associated with a book or a movie or a television show.
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Travel Part B