Directions From Above
I believe that God has been sending me messages for many years. Unfortunately, I wasn’t wise enough to understand what He was trying to tell me. You see, I am a professional engineer who always thought about life in black and white … without any shades of gray. My career required me to focus all of my attention on things that were wrong and in need of a solution. I was supposed to have the answers to solve all problems, no matter what they were.
Then retirement came and I started viewing the world through different eyes … eyes that started seeing that shades of gray have been in my life the entire time. I began reflecting back on some life experiences and recalled some special moments that had been dormant in my mind. They were actually God knocking at my door with messages meant for me.
The first thought that came to mind was the stained glass window above the altar in the church I attended in my youth. It was a full length image of Jesus standing with His left arm extended and palm exposed. His right arm was folded against His chest with His index finger pointing to heaven above. I had forgotten about this window until recently, but now I visualize the image all the time. It obviously left a strong impression or message in my subconscious mind.
Secondly, when I was sixteen years old, my pastor came to me and told me he sensed that one of the three boys in my family was going to become a minister, and felt that I was the one. His words hit me hard right between the eyes. The other two boys he referred to were three and six years older, and neither of them became a minister. At age eighteen, his message was constantly on my mind. However, I choose to ignore what I now feel was another message from God.
The next knock at my door came in the form of a dream-like vision when I was a sophomore in college, studying to become an engineer. Jesus entered my room wearing the garb displayed in the stained glass window of my church. He sat on my bed and we talked. He told me that He wanted me to go to seminary school and become a minister. Again, the word minister rang loudly in my head. I felt a calm come over me that night like never before. When I awoke the next morning, I dismissed His message. I convinced myself that it was all really just a dream and continued my studies to become an engineer. This scene has been playing out in my mind many times since I retired. I now believe that vision was not a dream. It was another knock at my door, and I lacked the wisdom to understand His calling.
I became that engineer and had a respectable career. I worked long hours and advanced through the ranks of the company, ultimately becoming a manager reporting directly to the president. I was happy, but I wasn’t happy in the true sense of the word. There was a void in my life that I couldn’t put my finger on. The long hours at work and working at home late into the evenings had taken a toll on me. My priorities were misguided, and I was too busy to see the little things in life that were passing by and going unnoticed. Things like playing with my children and watching them experience life, going on family vacations without taking my work along, or sharing myself with my loved ones. The very little things that could have changed my life if I had only been wise enough to understand His knocks at my door.
Life has taught me many lessons, most of which have been learned the hard way. Now retired, I have plenty of time to think and now enjoy the little things in life. I have been blessed with eight grandchildren who are constantly asking me to tell them stories about my life growing up or just plain old fantasy tales.
Telling these stories to the grandchildren has awakened a new chapter in my life. I finally realized that I haven’t missed God’s messages at all. God was working in my subconscious mind, quietly molding my thoughts all these years. He allowed me to experience life in ways that have prepared me for this moment, in His own time.
God has recently revealed a gift to me that I didn’t even know I had … telling stories and writing that others might benefit from my life experiences. Think about that for a moment. I, possessing an engineering mind, always seeing things as black or white am now a writer of things in shades of gray. His purpose for me is to spread His word through the eyes of a layman.
God truly inspired me in this effort as he led me to write and publish my first book entitled If Tigers Were Angels: With God, All Things Are Possible. A story about an older gentleman who has regrets about his past. He realizes he has missed the little, yet important things, that could have changed his life many years ago. He starts searching for his true purpose in life, finds God through his twelve year old neighbor, and goes on a core-shaking spiritual journey like no other.
The storyline is suitable for all ages … teens, young adults, adults, male, female, believers, and nonbelievers. There is a message for all who read the story. Many people have told me how their lives have been changed by this story. A common reply has been, “I couldn’t put the book down once I started reading the story.” I couldn’t ask for more and I’m grateful that God has revealed my gift to spread His message to others.
With God, All Things Are Possible!
Tom Tatum – 2013
Refer to http://www.If TigersWereAngels.com/
Comments from the Original Post
Carolyn Rogerson 9.20.13
I am so glad you revealed this to your fans. I loved “If Tigers were Angels” and I know GOD will continue to inspire you to be a blessing to us.
Debbie Avinger 9.19.13
What a lovely story, Tommy. Isn’t life interesting and the paths that open up!
Nancy Frazier 9.19.13
An awesome book. Only purchased to support a fellow high school acquaintance. God led me to it! It has changed my life! Been a Christian, all my live, grew up in a church, but, did not know God’s will for me. I am now retired, after teaching school for 30 years, and due to the message, of this book, have chosen a ministry for myself. A must read if you are wondering what God needs for you to do for him.