With the hindsight of eighty plus years, I have a perspective of my life’s journey that is extensive - to say the least. It is a view that is reserved for only those of us who have – through the grace of God visited his Sanctuary and then– been allowed to live such long and interesting lives in his service here on Earth.
As a matter of fact, I have always had the sure knowledge, since that time I spent with him in the Sanctuary, that God’s purpose for my life is simply to serve him. By that I mean he made it known to my heart that I should always try to do what he directs and leads me to do with him and for him for the benefit of his other children. In short, the time I spent with him in the Sanctuary was what I now call my “revelation-time.” A time that has influenced and guided my life ever since.
You may wonder what I am talking about when I use the word: Sanctuary. I’ll try to explain. The time when I was invited into the Sanctuary was in early May of 1948 when I was about twenty years old. It happened one calm, quiet, moonlit night as I was standing watch on the bridge of my Navy ship the U.S.S. Dayton. That night, we were in the Atlantic Ocean and sailing within a couple hundred miles of the Straits of Gibraltar – on what was to be a goodwill tour of the Mediterranean Sea as part of the Sixth Fleet.
As I stood there all-alone on the portside bridge wing, looking at the bright moon, the stars and the moonlit sea, I began to pray. For the first time in my life I asked God to take charge, to take control and show me what his will was for my life.
I really can’t explain in words, what happened then, but I know I was somehow “transported” into his presence. I found myself standing in a very quiet place – a place I now call the Sanctuary.
The Lord spoke to my heart and, in part, he told me of his love for me and he told me not to worry about the future. He said he would always be at my side to guide me and help me. He made me feel quiet and –at peace.
I don’t know how long I was in the Sanctuary with him, but when I returned to my ship – I was not the same. I felt like a new man. My insecurities and worries were gone and I had feelings of confidence and calm that were both new and exciting to me. In addition, I had genuine feelings of security, peace, and unquestioned trust in the Lord.
Now, so many years and events later, those feelings are still with me. In a way, I feel as if the Lord launched me as a new person, his new creation, during that unforgettable time with him in his Sanctuary so many years ago.