My next rider, whose name is Steve, was on the way to a body shop. His car’s front spoiler had to be repaired. I knew we’re going to meet, Steve said, because few hours earlier he said he prayed to “put someone in my day to share with and to have the words to say.” Well, here are his words.

“So I remember when I was eight years old laying in bed one night and hearing God’s voice telling me that he loved me and that I was special to him. I used to think there was something really good about me that he admired and that’s why he chose me but I think it’s more like a Forrest Gump kind of special, like you’re special and you need my help more than anybody.

“There are times in my life where I’ve been very selfish and rebellious and I’ve just not wanted to hear from God or have anything to do with him. During those times my life just spirals out of control and my relationships and everything just goes South because I’m just focusing on myself and what I want and in fact I think I’ve probably gone ten years in a row without even saying a word to God.

“I’ve gone through times when I just, you know, gotten really into trying to grow my business and just focusing on money and even a time in my earlier life where I divorced my wife and just wanted to go and be free and single and do my own things. My kids really suffered because of that. The things that I thought were going to make me happy really just became more and more of a bondage to me. I was obsessed with finding a perfect woman to have a relationship with and thought that if I could find that that would make me happy. I’d date people and would have no joy or peace in that in whatsoever. I was trying to take in those relationships instead of give.

“Sometimes you don’t know how to handle insecurities so you try to.. you know I got really into body building and thought well, if I got really big people would think I was really cool. So you chase down all these things but they turn into addictions. I spent a lot of time overeating and doing drugs and trying to get bigger. My body got sick and I got attention from it but it never made me more secure. If someone paid attention because of that, I think in the back of my mind I thought, they’re only paying attention to me because the way I look. What if I don’t look like that for the rest of my life? What happens when I grow old?

“I think I just got to the point where my life was so horrible where I just didn’t want to keep rebelling anymore and I realized that I had it so good when I was serving him that I would just out of the necessity just come back to him and start doing the things I used to do and just ask him for forgiveness and his mercy. Every time I would come back he’d put someone in my life to show me his love and forgiveness.

“What I found is that the weakest areas of my life have been the greatest source of strength because they force me to call out to him and ask him for his help and he’s always faithful. I really struggle sometimes, I own four different businesses and seems like every day something goes horribly wrong in one of the businesses. It used to just ruin my day because I’d just stress about what to do about it, how to fix a problem. Now I just ask him for his wisdom and his help and I just leave it there with him. I don’t take the stress of it on or worry about it anymore until I feel like I have an answer what I’m supposed to do. Inevitably the answer comes much quicker than if I was stressed out and not really trusting him because when you’re in that place it really cuts off all your and all your ability to really think well and when you open yourself up to him obviously he’s the most creative being in the universe. I think Gods wants to be creatively involved in our lives, much-much more than we allow him to.

listen to Open Conversation episodes also every Tuesday on KJZZ 91.5, NPR member station in Phoenix, Arizona, a bit after 9:30 am PST.

music by Stein Thor and Loopstache 

recorded, produced by Regina Revazova

note: this content is intended for listening. This transcript might not be accurate. We advise to listen to the podcast to get full range of emotional highlights and other story elements.

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