November 22, 1984 was a beautiful day in western Colorado. Most of the people involved in our fellowship were eagerly looking forward to the dinner being planned. None of the people knew the intense struggle taking place in the mind and heart of their coordinator. That coordinator was me.
The night before had been occupied by yet another ugly, hurtful, alcohol induced knock down drag out fight between my wife at the time and myself. For the better part of 8 years, anger and malice had ruled this woeful excuse of a marriage but something different happened that night in 1984 which broke my back spiritually. I finally decided there was no way out and there was nothing left to live for.
Early Thanksgiving morning, before anyone awoke, I made the hour drive to the top of a mountain south of town. The road was narrow and the hairpin curves were hazardous even in the best of times. Once at the very top, there was a lookout area when cars could park and see the entire Colorado River valley. In the best of times it was a truly awesome sight that would take your breath away. These were not the best of times.
As I sat in the car looking out over the vast expanse, I knew that all I had to do was step on the gas and plow through the skimpy guardrail and after flying for a season end up a crumpled heap 4,000 feet below. As I sat in that car praying as I had never prayed before, I felt a sense of sadness engulf me as I inched closer to the decision to step on the gas. At the time, it seemed the logical way out of an impossible situation.
I knew what I was thinking was wrong but I was tired of the fight, tired of fighting and tired of losing. I was only 31 years old but I felt like I was 131 due to the stress and strain of the preceding few years. I tried to find something to be thankful for but could not think of anything. At that moment of utter spiritual emptiness and depravity, there was no good I could see in my life.
I did not bother to write a letter for no one would ever find it. I did not bother to call anyone for there was nothing anyone could say that would change my mind. With a sense of resolution, I counted down the seconds until I blasted off into the early morning sky to find relief from the relentless pain, confusion and anger that controlled my life.
Before I actually stepped on the gas and took off to meet my maker, I paused and told the Lord that if this was not His will, He would have to directly intercede. What took place next absolutely changed my life and to a large degree explains why I am still around and writing this blog. What happened? That, my friends, will be revealed in the coming days.