“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
At times like this when I am alone, just me and my thoughts, with nothing to really focus on, and I can slow down, I like to think back, to ponder and to think about where I have been. Yes I remember what Isaiah 43:18-43:9 tell me, I do not consider it hypocritical though, because the people who this verse was written for when they look back, they remember glory days and exciting times, they give a dissatisfied groan, wishing for what once was that is what God warned about when He spoke those words. Me? I remember the past, and where I am now, and when I think about where I am and where I was.
It amazes me.
As I look down at the plastic, cold bottle in my hand I twist the cap, a fizzing sound comes out as I remove the cap, take a drink, and let my mind go back to the beginning of this journey.
"I resign from my position, effective immediately"
I remember those words, I wrote them myself, I guess technically
e-mailed them. How long ago was it, 7 years, 8 years ago? Might even be more than that.
To be honest, I guess it doesn't matter, seeing as how it seems like a lifetime ago now. My how things have changed.
And now, here I am in the twilight hours of the day sitting on a hotel room's balcony, a root beer in my hand and soft autumn breeze blowing through what is left of my buzzed hair wondering how I went from somebody who seemed to be stuck in a dead end, go nowhere job to sitting here, within sight of an arena that you can just barely hear the buzz of the LED sign when it changes and this is only if you are truly focusing on hearing it. But the biggest part of the wondering is not that I am in the hotel, or the arena, or the sign but it is the fact that one of these pictures of upcoming events on that sign looks very familiar, granted it has a large SOLD OUT across it in red, but it looks familiar.
As it should.
Because it is me.
Angelo McMaster, at least that is what the world knows me as. I started to do preaching over the internet during that worldwide mess. For a laugh I even put some of the stuff together in a book and self published it on one of those selling sites as an EBook, I thought it would be cool if something happened and even half joked of becoming the next Billy Graham. I never thought it would actually happen.
And yet, here we are, like the bubbles that rise from the bottom of this root beer bottle to the top of it, I too rose. One book became two, two became three and so on. One person in a magazine during an interview even told me forget being the next Billy Graham, Billy Graham was the previous Angelo McMaster. I rebutted that statement, I'm still nowhere near that bar, or at least I don't think I am. Try to say humble after all.
I'd like to say I got everything I wanted, but I can't. I may have the book deals that many others long for, the speaking deals that sell out arenas and enough interviews that it seems like I am never off the TV or airwaves, but I have lost much on this journey. Not to mention, some things that before this happened I I was striving for may never be achieved. To give you an example, It is only me in this hotel room, no wife, no kids, and not because they are home waiting for my return but because the only place they exist are in my Sims game. Since I have been writing the books, and preaching and the tours I had to leave my home town. A woman and I, Linda, were getting close when all this started, a big part of me thought she would make a good girlfriend, even a good wife. But then this life began, I haven't seen her in a while, some nights I still think about her and pray for her.
Did she find a good man to treat her well? Did she get married? Did she live the life she said she wanted? Or is she back there, still living the life she had when I left to chase down this goal, this dream of mine? One day I should go back and see her, catch up with her, I have talked with her on FaceBook, but it's not the same.
I pause in my thoughts to take another mouthful of my Root Beer.
On top of that, I have lost some friends along the way, some due to difference of direction, many of them still back in my hometown, all of them back there actually. Some of them I lost due to time spent doing the things I felt had to be done in order to to get here. Some because as I went down this path, metaphorically and literally, I discovered they were toxic false friends some of which were waiting for my ship to come in so they too could cash in, others who tried to hold me down. I remember one of them, Dan.
Dan was a great guy for the most part, he was a little anti-social, and a little weird, but then again who isn't a little weird in this world of ours, we would chill out, watch my streaming network, play video games and so on, but we would get in to fights and then we wouldn't speak to each other for a while, sometimes months, he always had this dream, that he kept saying he would like to do, but then he would quickly add how he would fail so he never would try. One time I told him in one of our conversations that "“It doesn’t count if you’re already planning your defeat.” but he would always come up with some weak reason why it did count and why he could never be more than he was. That was sort of the direction change that sort of sent our friendship downhill. But there is truth in that statement that I had told him those many years ago. . People tend to add if/then statements to being happy, but at the end of the day, happiness is a choice. And I am happy, exhausted, but happy.
If I had accepted defeat, if I had stayed in that job I wouldn't be here.
And here is an amazing place to be.