It's the middle of the night, the dog stopped barking, the rooster started crowing, and I was somewhere just south of the equator.
The last eight months had been a time of turbulence and upheaval; including the loss of a spouse to cancer after 40 years of marriage and the loss of a job when my employer moved across the state. I ended up in the Amazon jungle, underneath a canopy of mosquito netting, on a two inch thick piece of foam supported by wooden slats, trying to sleep. It was 2:30 in the morning. That’s when the dog stopped barking and the rooster started crowing.
Much of the events of that year were things over which I had no control. Some events presented various choices to be made and I wish I could say I always chose wisely. It was much later when I realized how the choice of taking that mission trip changed my life and my future.
The trip started with a flight from Chicago to Lima Peru and three days of travel from Lima into the jungle. There were six days of work in Shringamazu, then two days of travel back to Lima. We spent the next seventeen hours experiencing the joy of air travel, custom inspections and layovers until we were finaly back at O’Hare. Now we were in a van for the 90 minute trip to our final destination; home! I didn’t know what the future would hold, but I knew from here forward, it would forever be changed.
How would the events of the past year affect the future? Would this experience move me forward or would it overwhelm me? What choices would I make about the future? Would I choose wisely? How could I use what happened to me to help others? Where do I go from here?
During the ride home in that van I remembered an axiom I read back in high school. I don’t know the source but I remember the saying. “What I am to be, I am now becoming.” I thought, “What am I now becoming?”
I find it interesting how many times God speaks to us in the middle of the night. Maybe that's the only time He can get our attention. And, even though He has our attention, we don't always recognize or understand the message until much later.
Here's the short version of what I remember about my conversations with God during this time.
Me: "Ya know God my life really stinks right now. Can you make it better?"
Me: "God, I'm suffocating here, when is it going to get better?"
Me: "God, I don't know what to do! Why is this happening to me?"
God: "It's not about you!"
This conversation took place during the last stages of my wife's life. It had been a week since we had much of a response from her. Even the week before there were only mumblings that we tried our best to decipher.
One night, it was the middle of the night, I went in to check on her. She woke up and as plain as ever said, "It's all about God," and that was the last thing she ever said. Three days later she passed.
Me: "God, I still think the last year stinks. You brought me through it and I thank you, but how can this experience be used to help others and not be just a period of time I want to forget?"
God: "Wait, listen, obey, do!"
It all started eight months later when I found myself on a mission trip to the Amazon Jungle of Peru. Since that time many changes have taken place and my life is so different than what I could have ever imagined. And it all started when the dog stopped barking and the rooster started crowing.
Symbolically or metaphorically for me the dog barking is keeping the darkness at bay. The darkness of depression, the darkness of despondancy, self pity and so many other things that hinder us from reaching our full potential. But then there is that rooster! His proclamation and challenge is that a new day is starting and you have to choose how you will live it. Choose wisely!
That experience clarified and identified a new direction for my life. It is to come along side others who are experiencing their own challenges in life and help them navigate their jungle without being eaten alive.
What followed was much schooling, much study and practice on how to use my experiences to help others to not only be alive but to thrive. If you are ready to move forward in your life I would love to talk to you. My purpose is to help you clarify your goals, develop your plan of action, and to help you be fully alive and thrive.
A year from now you will be somewhere, start now to make that somewhere the place you want to be.
Out from the Jungle
Phone: +1 815 297 2630
Most of the artwork and photos on this website are available for purchase. Some originals are available as well as prints of most others. Go to dkruseartist.com to check on availability and purchase. Copyright on all art and photos are the sole property of d.kruse fine art.
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