A Sudden Realization (W@HBC Day 1)

Some of my notes and thoughts from attending Wild at Heart Boot Camp – August 15

It’s the first day of my men’s retreats in Fraser, Colorado, and John Eldredge himself is hosting the first session. There was a little fan-girl squeal inside of me as he walked to the front of the presentation room. There stood a man that was a key domino in not only making my relationship with my wife Lee survive, but also in helping me return to God. Without getting into specifics, I can say I would not be at this retreat is not for the encouragement of my wife.

In John’s session, he tasked us with an exercise. “Name your favorite movie and explain why.” The ‘what’ part was very easy for me. I enjoy doing top-of-mind awareness exercises in my head, and for some time now, the answer to the question of “favorite movie” has been Field of Dreams.

Before I continue, it’s important to note I came to this retreat because I felt compelled by God to attend. I can’t explain the ‘why’ except to say it’s as if God invited me to a surprise party and I have to wait to see what the surprise is. I know God is calling me in a new direction, away from the corporate monotony in which I find myself. But as to where He’s leading me, I have no clue.

I began to answer the second part of the exercise question. ‘Why’. Why is Field of Dreams my favorite movie? I always used to think it was because I shared a connection through that movie with my dad. I love it because of the ending, where the main character Ray meets a younger version of his father and Ray asks him if he wants to have a catch. It’s because of that scene I was unable to watch the film for some time after my father passed away (8 years to be exact). The emotion of that scene is powerful, and just thinking about it make my eyes swell.

I put pen to paper and began to answer the question. “Because of Ray’s confidence in the voice he hears. He has faith and he has courage. Courage to risk everything, to give up everything for what he feels he is called to do. ”

I looked up from my notepad and then back down again. Did I just write that? Where did that answer come from? What the …. ? I’d never looked at Field of Dreams that way before. I’ve seen the movie a thousand times and it has never spoken to me in that way until today. Until I was prompted by John Eldredge to answer the question ‘Why?’. Until I was prompted by God to answer the question, “Why are you here at this retreat?”.

I call moments like these Godsmack moments, and this one was very clear to me. God’s surprise party is about me finding the courage to follow His calling for me. To stop ignoring that little voice that is telling me to go forward and to be great.

In Field of Dreams, the voice Ray keeps hearing says, “If you build it, he will come.” What I keep hearing God whisper in my ear is, “I have built you, now go on.” I just need to find my courage and strength to obey.

“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” -Psalm 119:32 (NIV)

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13 thoughts on “A Sudden Realization (W@HBC Day 1)

  1. I love this, Gil! This has always been one of my favorite movies as well and I had the same reaction after losing my father. I used to play softball and he loved to help me in any way he could. He traveled a lot for business so he wasn’t able to commit to being my full time coach, but he never missed a game that he was in town for. He was always wanting to have a catch in the backyard and let’s just say I didn’t always share his enthusiasm. Now, I would give anything for just one more catch…

    1. Thank you so much, Ellen. It’s so painful to look back at all those memories and realize there won’t be any new ones. Still, it’s a blessing to have such great memories of your dad, and I am sure he’s looking at you from Heaven and is so proud of the woman and mother you’ve become.

  2. Gil, another awesome post !! I really like how you didn’t know what to expect but yet, “you knew” something wonderful was going to happen. The joy of discovering God’s amazing grace is being revealed to you in a powerful way…I have no doubt about your strength and the path you are on.

    1. Thank you, Rick. This new turn in my life has been amazing but also a bit overwhelming. There is still a lot of fear and uncertainty with which I struggle, but I know it’s not anything I can’t overcome, especially when I remember to surrender it all to God.

  3. Great word choice – “Godsmack” moments. I’m excited to see where God is taking you, your writing and your leadership skills. Thanks for allowing us a peek into the process. Lee is a wise wife…she wants for you all that God has planned. You are blessed!

    1. Thank you so much, CJ. I wish the word Godsmack was something I came up with. It’s actually the name of a band. The name came as a result of the following story.

      Interview Quote from Sully: “It was back when we were just getting started, we had a photo shoot and our old drummer came in with a huge cold sore. I was making fun of him all day, but he didn’t say anything back. The next day, I came to rehearsal with a huge coldsore on my lip. And Tony (Rombola, the band’s guitarist), said, ‘That’s God smacking you for yesterday.’

      Lee has been a gift from God and a life saver. I know I would not be here without her.

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