A Spiritual Autobiography

Posted: April 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

I was raised in a Christian home, but for a variety of reasons, I turned my back on the church around 13 or 14.  By the time I was 15, I was a full blown agnostic and a runaway full of anger.

I eventually made my way to Hollywood where I spent two years chasing the “American Dream” of fame and riches.  I strove to be “someone” in the entertainment industry.   I may have been outside of the church but I was still deeply religious.  I had a hell, which was living in a small Midwestern town and living an ignominious life.  I also had a heaven, which was fame and fortune.  So, my functional savior was Hollywood and the movie business.

I wanted to be a director.  I wanted to have my name in lights. I wanted to hang out with “important” people.  I wanted the money to do whatever I felt like doing. 

And I was on the way to reaching my goals.  I worked as an assistant for two legendary songwriters, I became buddies with a TV producer who went on to produce “Friends”, and I directed  a music video for Latin MTV at 18. 

Yet, I was also deeply depressed. In fact, I was nearly suicidal.  After a number of heartbreaking personal incidents and slowly realizing that every “successful” person I met in L.A. was actually miserable, I left and came home to Ohio a virtual wreck. 

I spent a year doing nothing.  I started college, I drifted from part-time job to part-time job, and I even tried church again (to no avail).   Mostly I just drank and chased girls.  I was trying to forget that I was growing older.

In 1992, I adopted a new religion–politics.  At the behest of my parents, I attended a fund raising dinner for a Congressman and became hooked. I cut my hair, took out my earrings, traded in my Guns N’ Roses tees for 2 new suits and interned for that Congressman. 

They say that politics is Hollywood for ugly people and I guess they’re right! I spent the next five years wholly immersing myself into campaigns and public policy.  I dropped out of college to attend campaign schools and became pretty good at it. 

At 24, I helped elect a businessman to Congress and followed him to Washington D.C.  However, I spent a good deal of my time on the Hill building up my own political base for a run for public office.  I was planning on running for the state senate  in 1998 and had several influential backers.  Again, my hell was being a “nobody” without power or prestige and my heaven was a title, power and respect.  My functional savior was a successful campaign.

But then as 1996 wound down and I looked forward to leaving the Hill and returning to Ohio to run for office, I began to suffer from a number of physical problems.  Two doctors were baffled but then, in January of 1997, a specialist told me that I had growth and that it was likely cancerous. 

Suddenly the temple of power and prestige meant nothing and, late one night in my bedroom, fear and desperation drove me to my knees to plead with the God who I had publically and frequently disowned.

I offered my life in return for…well…my life.

That night, and this is where things get strange, I heard a voice.  The voice told me to go to seminary and serve God.

The only true savior was about to deliver me from death but this is only the beginning of the story.

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