After the very late night dinner with the "elder" Richard (the other Richard
in this story), it was about 11:00 o'clock. So we called it a night and drove back home. Of course this was too late for us sailors, but when you're young you can stay up all night sometimes if you know what I mean.
January the 2nd was a Monday and if you'll remember they really want me there by 0500 at the latest but would rather have me in by 0400. Well, by the Sovereignty of God again I woke up late! THIS time as it turned out the Lord got me to work at such a time as no one said anything or noticed or maybe they were just too busy with the preparation of Breakfast to care.
But when I awoke around 0500 I think it was, I panicked as I had heard all the horror stories of people going to Captain's mast and losing a rank just for being late! This is an actual fact and many times the Navy does not fool around. It's possible for such offenses as skipping work (U. A. or unauthorized absence), talking back to a superior, disobeying orders, etc. to go to mast and get restricted to the ship for 45 days (or more depending on the offense). Along with that you could lose half your pay for 2 months with 2 hours of extra duties for those 45 days also. Of course, when I awoke the devil was still with me breathing down my neck and saying that I was the subject of the Father's chastening because I insisted on my weird teachings and needed to lay it down and that this was God's chastening. He just never quit for those 2 days at all!!!
Again let me say that if things had not happened like this exactly as it did this book would not be written. Every last detail of everything that happened became part of the painting that revealed such an awesome mystery. If I had woke up with plenty of time and everything was hunky dory, I never would have run to Richard's place. In fact, I would have done like I did in subsequent mornings after that: walk out to the street corner and hitchhike. Of course not only was their schedule for going to work later than mine but right after this whole experience they both went out of state on leave for close to a month. Any way, for quite some time when I first joined the military before I got a car I would hitchhike. Except in uniform that is as it was against regulations to hitchhike in uniform. But on this particular morning that could not be considered as an option as I was running late as it was.
Richard and Ny were kind of talking kind of off to the side and so seemed quite distant from me the night before while I talked with the other Richard so there was a definite wall between Richard and I but what could I do? Not only I needed to get up and hardly even brush my teeth but also I needed to run out the door, run to Richard's house and wake him up before I got in trouble. (By the way, let me go on record saying I don't blame the devil for me being down. If you are spiritually down and dejected it is your fault and I mean fault. You cannot be held totally responsible for being down emotionally, mentally, or physically but my faith was not strong and my trust was lacking so I was open to the enemy spiritually in a way I have NEVER been since that time.)
Now let me say right off the bat, I didn't feel very good at all. I felt like death warmed over I felt so tired. Secondly, I had gone sleep entirely torn up emotionally inside and the worst thing about it all was I was low on hope. The hope of my hearts desires being fulfilled for the kind of Christian life I desired to live seemed to be taken away from me. Also it seemed as if I were being condemned for even having such hopes as if I were a criminal or a heretic. So on top of my physical down condition, I was down emotionally, spiritually and mentally … BUT there was no time allotted me to mope around! I had to get up and move it! move it! move it!
On Into The Storm
I tore out of my apartment into …. RAIN RAIN RAIN!!!! The black clouds and slight rain from the previous evening had become a deluge! It was literally pouring rain form black skies and since the sun hadn't even peeped yet it was even worse! A full blown storm! The only light was from the dull, dismal super pale orange or rather peach colored lights that sort of lit up the parking lots between buildings. The water was splashing up into my pants legs from mud puddles that were probably an inch deep or more but I didn't care. I just kept running.
Now the Sovereign Hand of the Almighty stepped into this poor earth again and what I'm writing next … again, these things all happened with in about 40 seconds yet there is so much that took place in those 40 seconds I have to write and write. I'm going to say GO for the beginning of these 40 seconds and then IT'S OVER when I'm done writing about that frame of time, OK? Here's where the title of this book comes from: GO: As I was running I LOST MY KEYS!!!!! Somehow, they just jumped out of my pocket and fell into a puddle and I ran about three or four more paces as they fell and were gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course it took a passage of 3 or 4 paces to realize something had slipped out of my pocket. When I realized it, I stopped frozen and suddenly turned around and looked behind me!!!! When I did (which was the very moment I realized it happened) something like a fist seemed to hit me so deep within! When I turned of course there was nothing but a dull, dismal dark peach colored orange light in which you could hardly see reflecting off of several mud puddles, which were each being assaulted with multitudes of hard raindrops everywhere. These puddles were at least 1 inch deep and I suddenly realized there was just no way! Them there keys were lost!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gone forever! No way would I find them in all that water and darkness. It took me only 2 seconds to realized that and knowing that I could be in trouble and that it would be foolish to try to find them again, I went on running.
Now that feeling that "hit me" deep within and felt like a fist deep in my spirit had happened at the exact moment that I realized something had fallen out of my pocket. It was a negative feeling but it was so deep within that I knew that THAT at least was one place in a human being that no one could reach except GOD. So I KNEW I just KNEW it was some kind of sign, this losing of my keys. God was saying "something" to me but what it was I just couldn't figure out. But it was obviously a negative feeling as if something were wrong. Or maybe I was wrong! What's interesting about this is that Satan was still breathing down my back at the same time. Did he know that the Lord had communicated something to my spirit? Can Satan know such activities are going on deep within or did he just attack because he was using every arsenal in his inventory and imagination during that spiritual storm to assault me during that time frame? I don't know. But the enemy did seem to know there was a spiritual communication through the loss of the keys and my thoughts were suddenly twisted upon that note and those thoughts were almost ringing in my ears as I continued to run. "The reason you lost your keys is because YOU'RE WRONG!" "You need to take your crazy ideas and give them up. The reason you lost your keys is cause your wrong and God is chastening you for your trouble making heresies!!! If you'd just lay this idea down everything would be alright!" Yeah! OK! It probably would have been OK cause the devil would have laid off! Of course this all had much more meaning to this human being than someone else who is not bothered by losing their keys. You see, I hate losing my keys! It bothers me to no end when it happens which is rare because I take great precautions against it. Now you have to realized what else this meant to me based upon my schedule. Do you remember the every other week thing? I was now entering upon the Monday, Wednesday, Friday work till 1900 (7:00 at night) week and then the weekend and I knew that the apartment complex would be closed (their office closed at 5:00 o'clock) by the time I got off work that night so to get another set of keys to my apartment would be impossible unless I got special time off and to get special time off you have to make arrangements with the Navy ahead of time so they can cover their bases and feed everyone or whatever it is they're doing. This meant that I would have to sleep on the ship that night!!! And here I just got a place to call my own and already I was deprived of it. Of course the devil at the same time he chided me about losing my keys also made a thing of the fact that I couldn't sleep at my apartment that night. He used that one to say it was a chastening of the Lord due to my being a heretic who should be rejected by Christians at large! That devil just doesn't miss a trick, does he? Well neither does the Lord!! Except the Lord is far wiser than the old slew foot! What was so strange is that the Lord too had provided for this situation by having me have two sets of keys. I still had another set that was for my rack on the ship so I still had my shipboard keys. The only set I had lost was the keys to my apartment, and those could be replaced when I would get off on Tuesday by the apartment office, whereas the other keys to my rack and locker onboard could not have been replaced. Of course I didn't think about that fact at that time. I only realized I still had the keys to my rack and would be able to sleep in it that night. At this point with a desperate cry I cried out from deep within me, "GOD, what does this all mean????!!?" OK, IT'S OVER. The 40 seconds is finally over. I know you're saying no way that all happened in 40 seconds. That's what I'M saying as I look back now, too. But that's how things happen and sometimes we don't see any significance until later.
Then I got Richard's house and rang his door bell over and over. He came to the door and looked like a sleeping mess! He looked at me with very little pleasure, I could tell as if I hadn't come he would've been able to get an hour and a half more sleep. i mean here's a brother he had just had a fall out the night before and he comes to the door in the wee hours asking for a lightning bolt ride to work through a lightning bolt storm! Yeah right! Well, he could have told me to get lost at that point but then made the right choice and took me to the ship.
As we drove to pier Charlie early that Monday morning neither of us spoke a word to each other. I could feel the presence of Satan breathing down my neck and it was started to be a tormenting thing. The thoughts from the enemy still kept on: "this local church thing is a cult and you need to quit making an issue out of it!!" Just like the devil, huh? But God wants us to make an issue for the truth. At this point, I felt as if my head had been put in a vise and there was this burning sensation around my scalp and all the rebuking in the name of the Lord was not doing much to help. Along with the burning sensation around my head there was such a chill. This was because Richard and I didn't dare speak a word to one another. Do you see what Satan wants to do to relationships between believers? It was the most chilling cold time I've ever had with a fellow believer in all my life.
But as we made the journey over there at least there began to be some anger towards the enemy and I began to see his hand in all of this. I began to realize God was not the author of fear as Paul had written, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind." God is not the author of self-pity either. Another thing was confusion. God is NOT the author of confusion and I sure was confused so here I began to see the hand of the enemy. At this point though something needs to be said. These truths about what we practice as Christians being different from what the first century believers practiced brings confusion seemingly to some of the Christians I have shared it with. As a result I have many times been labeled as a trouble making heretic. (I've kind of grown accustomed to the term and even like being called it now!) At this point let me point out that today's Christianity is already so wrong that when the truth comes the situation of already existing confusion becomes apparent and these young believers suddenly feel confused whereas before the truth came around they didn't feel confused at all! The real truth is I have never met anyone who has become established in the truths I'm talking about who has EVER been the least little bit clouded or confused about these things again! I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE LEAST BIT CONFUSED SINCE THESE EVENTS FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND THAT'S A FACT!!!
Another thing that was happening inside was that this cry to God which had begun the night before on the way to the restaurant to talk, was getting bigger inside me. The cry was: "What's going on? Why don't You speak to me? I need You to tell me if I'm wrong about this, not merely someone else." That cry combined with the fact that God had at least communicated with me in the losing of my keys BY THAT NEGATIVE FIST HIT TYPE FEELING DEEP IN MY INNER MAN comforted me just a little that there was something to all this and something mysterious and strange was going on.
As Richard drove through that pelting darkness and rain with his windshield wipers on maximum speed a determination formed within my heart. I used the words of David and cried out:
- 1 To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock:
- Do not be silent to me,
- Lest, if You are silent to me,
- I become like those who go down to the pit.
At this point I determined within before God, "God, I'm going to work like crazy today, I'm going to do my utmost to get everything done as Your Word says you reward those who diligently seek You. So I'm going to do my utmost to get off work as early as possible by 1900 (7:00 o'clock) tonight and I'm going to go hit my rack (Navy term for getting into your bunk bed to turn in for rest) and I'm going to pray and pray and pray, until I get an answer from You! I've got to know what's going on here Lord! I'm going to get a hold of You through prayer even if it takes all night!! I'm going to pray and pray till I get hold of the horns of the altar and move the hand of God on my behalf to ANSWER ME PLEASE!!!! At this point I started asking God all the questions that were bothering me so deeply. (or was it the enemy? I couldn't tell) "God, why did I lose my keys? Am I right or wrong? Did You, or did You not tell me that I was sent to raise up a church here in this locale? What about now? I can't get anyone to listen to me and probably never will. Why did You send me to a locality where there is no local church if I am not to build one up? Am I supposed to forget about this whole thing? Be not silent unto me lest I be like them that go down to the pit!" Heck, man, I was already in a pit so deep it was like a quagmire and seemingly got even more depressed. The questions went on. The accusations went on. The onslaughts of the enemy went unmercifully on. The feelings of being useless, worthless, and no good went on. The feelings of loneliness went on. The confusion went on. The fears and torments went on …….. and on …….. and on and on. And on.
At least I did one smart thing when I got to the ship. I WORKED! I poured myself into such a hard working labor that there have been few days in my life that equal it. The doubts were still there. The agony was still there. All the questions were still nagging at me in the back of my head. The floods of thoughts and rejection feelings were still hurting me and nagging at me BUT tried to keep busy enough to ignore them. It was move it, move it move it for me that day! And ….. we did get off at 1900 that night, the earliest possible time.
BACK: Chapter 19 FWD: Chapter 21
Copyright © 2001 by Kevin “the NorthWest”. Non-commercial use permitted.
Kevin “the NorthWest”