PostHeaderIcon Heavenly Father’s Day at the Garden Gate

Every book has a story behind the story. Over the next several blog posts, I’d like to share with you the story of how the book Heavenly Father’s Day came to be written.

Imagine you are standing at a garden gate. You go through the gate to the path leading into the garden. Up ahead, maybe 15 or 20 feet away, you see a statue. Oh, you think, I’d like to see that statue up close. So you walk down the path toward the statue.

Once you get there, you admire the statue. You walk all around it to appreciate it from all angles. As you travel the circular path around the statue, you notice another path going away from the statue—one you could not see from your original path. As you look down this new path, you see a bright splashing fountain in the distance. You are drawn to get a closer look at the fountain, so you head down this new path.

Once you reach the fountain, yet another path and another destination appear—and another—and another. If you have ever read anything about garden design, you may realize that this is actually the way large gardens are designed. They are supposed to draw you further and further along, always promising something new and interesting to see.

This is the way God works in our lives. God is a master garden designer. He has designed your life as a garden. As you reach each destination, he shows you something else ahead, some new goal to strive for.

Sometimes we are tempted to create our own grand design. We like to do five-year plans, ten-year plans, career plans. Those are all nice to think about and to help us make choices now: what college or tech school to attend, what subjects to study, which corporation to work for, and so on throughout our lives. But just remember that old saying about “the best laid plans of mice and men.” Don’t be disappointed if you suddenly find a garden path that dead-ends or goes somewhere unexpected.

Christians are particularly called to let God lead them through the garden—to be in control of their lives. We call it “stepping out in faith.” Aside from the garden analogy, my favorite visual interpretation of this principle can be seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Indiana is near the end of his search for the Holy Grail when his path seems to end at a great chasm, much too large to jump across. He remembers the clue about stepping out in faith. He takes a step and hits a rock bridge, previously invisible to him. His faith is rewarded, and he is allowed to proceed on his quest.

The path of faith is the one I was asked to travel in writing my first book, Heavenly Father’s Day. But before I get specifically into how the book came to be written, I’d like to share with you the story of Discovering My Spiritual Gift.

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