Jack was my first boss in the corporate advertising world, and back in the early nineties he was a master salesman, gifted manager, and wonderful sales trainer. I attribute my successful sales and marketing career to him. Just as my life has gone in a much different direction since Jack and I worked together, so has his.
He left his successful advertising career after feeling disillusioned with the corporate world. His marriage, which had been rocky over the years, ended amicably soon after. His three kids were out of school and out of the house. Jack had no plans and little money; he had given his house and belongings to his ex-wife. Nothing was tying him down.
As he shared with me, “For the first time, I felt free—free like when I was a teenager and did not have to be anywhere or do anything.”
Letting Go of Control
Jack was ready for the next lesson on his path: learning to let go of control.
A year prior, he’d heard a still small voice within say, “Just go.” He’d spent the year wrestling with what this message meant. Finally, he was ready to act on the voice’s guidance. He packed up his bags and drove from Chicago to his hometown of St Louis to stay with one of his brothers.
Growing up, Jack had attended a preparatory seminary school and then college. He wanted to be a priest. In his late teenage years, this desire waned, and he ended up following a more typical life path in corporate America.
Thirty years later, he opened to the stirrings within, listened, and dropped everything to follow God. He opened to the unknown, to the now, and dived in.
These past couple years, while living in St Louis, Jack has picked up sporadic construction jobs that have helped him pay for his rent and food, and he’s continued to dive deep into his spiritual practice. He taught himself how to meditate and sought out the company of many different healers.
One day, one of those healers, Master Chunyi Lin, a qigong master, shared the following with Jack, “I am one in the Universe, the Universe is in me, the Universe and I act as one.” Jack understood that God was sending him guidance through the voice of this human teacher. These words encapsulated and affirmed Jack’s belief that he is one with God, and he carries this message with him as a reminder that he is never separated from God.
No Fear, Only Trust
Jack expresses no fear about his next paycheck, where he was going to land or live, or what his future holds. A confidence and knowing that “all is well” exudes from him. Living in the now, trusting in the moment, taking one step at a time is how Jack lives each day. Each day is a new adventure and a deepening in his relationship with God.
As I was recently talking long distance with Jack, he shared, “I have never felt so alive and so connected to Source (his term for God). Each day I surrender my ego and let go more.” When fear arises, he goes inward and asks for help, and he finds solace in his relationship with God.
I marvel at the courage it took for Jack to leave everything behind and immerse himself in the unknown. During some of our phone conversations, I’ve noticed my unease about how he is living his life. I think to myself, “How can he be so relaxed and calm when he doesn’t have a plan, or money, or direction?” At the same time, I find his trust in the present moment is palpable and inspiring.
Living in the Now
Following a deep spiritual calling often means placing our trust fully in this moment. It is in this moment when we are fully alive, not in the past or the future. In the present moment is where we can hear that still, small voice that is within all of us.
Jack is an example of someone doing just that—living in the now and having trust, trust, trust. His is a life of unshakable trust and faith in action. I am grateful to witness how he has been able to let go of the constant pressure of having a plan, a direction, a defined purpose, and instead let life and purpose unfold, one day at a time.