RUNNING WITH THE GOSPEL
When you tell your own story, at least for me, I get, I get encouraged, because I’m like, God, you did speak to me. And I joke because, you know, over the years, I’ve seen that when God speaks something really, really clearly, like supernatural clear, where there’s no shadow of a doubt, you get really excited. But as you as you walk along this journey of walking with God, and He speaks that way, that usually the louder and the stronger that he speaks is because he knows you’re going to need an anchor for your soul. Because it’s going to get hard. And it’s, the word’s going to get tested.
God wasn’t really real to me till 2006. It was sort of my parents’ faith, and they raised me in the Lord, and I’m so grateful for their foundation. But at some point, you’ve got to make your faith your own. I just got desperate for God, because I had a consciousness of God, but I didn’t have a relationship with Him. And I just cried out for months and months, and he met me, and he became real to me. And so I’d been walking with Him for about four years and just reading the Word with a new light and just felt like I was here hearing his voice. And in 2010, I was two years out of my professional soccer career. And I was back in Dallas working at a bankruptcy law firm. I’d given, you know, 15-20 years of my life to pursuing soccer. And so at 23, there was this big kind of pivot and change of direction. I just figured I would be in the marketplace and be a radical Christian, as an attorney, or, you know, my brother’s an attorney, my dad’s an entrepreneur, like I just I really liked that path. I like the tangible world. And ministry to me seems so ethereal. But this ache was birthed in me. I mean, I remember it was like a–groan is maybe too strong of a word–but I just, it was a discontent feeling. And it wasn’t just because I was bored or anything like that. Like I knew it was from God. I think sometimes we get bored with what we’re doing and God’s calling us to stay. But the only thing I knew to do was to seek the Lord.
And so I remember early one morning, I was down in Oaklawn and I was like, I’m just going to go to the church and pray. And this was before the church had an alarm system, it was literally I had a key. So I walked up to the church, I was the only one in there. I just poured out my heart to God, really, I complained. “Poured out your heart” is the religious way of saying I complained. I just complained. And I just said, “God, I don’t know why I feel the way I feel. But I need you to speak to me.” And that’s what it was. I was desperate for his voice and for his direction.
And I had been for an hour just saying, “Lord, I don’t feel like I know which way to go. Like, am I going to go to ministry, whatever that means, or am I going to go to be a lawyer?” That was the context of my of my groaning. Because I felt like something inside of me was telling me there’s something more.
But I didn’t know what that was.
And I just said, “You have to speak to me.” And it was like immediately in my heart, it wasn’t audible and and I just heard the verse, Jeremiah 6:16. And so I read Jeremiah 6:16. And it says this. “This is what the Lord says, stand at the crossroads and look. Ask me for the ancient path, and for the good way, and walk in it, and you’ll find rest for your soul.”
And I read that, and it was like, Oh, my gosh, God just spoke to me. Like that one scripture in all of the Bible articulated exactly where I was at. I didn’t know what the ancient path was, or the good way. I was just praying sort of this I had the word but I didn’t have clarity. Does that make sense? Like I had peace in my soul, because I had heard. And I knew I was on the right path asking him, but I didn’t know what that was. So still at the crossroads. So fast forward. It was in October, I went to the movie Secretariat. It was my brother’s birthday. We went as a family. The opening line of that movie is a quote from Job 39:19-25. And she’s reading it. She goes, “Do you give the horse his strength? Do you clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” And it’s this, it’s God questioning Job. But he’s using this analogy of a horse. And I thought that was cool and poetic and thought nothing of it. And then at the end of the movie Secretariat’s won two of the three races of the Triple Crown.
The third race is the longest, and Secretariat was only supposed to be fast for short distances. And so he was expected to lose the final race. And so there I am minding my own business, and I’m watching this movie and and Secretariat starts off and he normally starts off in last place and then comes from behind and wins. Well this time in this third race, where he’s supposed to start off slow, he starts off really fast. And he just gets faster and the other horse is pressing him in and you’re watching this and you’re going, he’s going to burn out, and he’s going to lose the race. All of a sudden, about three-quarters through the race, and the movie does a great job of portraying this, the owner finally just goes, “Let him run, Ronnie, let him run.” And you see Secretariat just take off. And as I’m watching this movie, and I’m watching Secretariat just get this massive lead over Sham, I start crying in the movie. And I’m like, I don’t cry at movies. I mean, I’m not a super emotional guy. And the announcer’s, like, “He’s running like a tremendous machine.” And something inside of me, that same thing that was aching, you know, for three months, I just feel this like, I can’t describe it again. It was like deep calling to deep. I’m like, why am I crying? Why do I feel so connected to this moment? And, and I heard the Lord speak to me at the end of that movie, and it wasn’t audible again. And it was just a subtle whisper. And he said, “Son, I’ve made you to run like that horse.”
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