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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Chosen Path

What event in your life has swelled in importance over the years? Does it now seem as if everyone was there? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p.596).

The event in my life that has swelled in importance over the years occurred in 1976 when at 31 I decided to rent an apartment in Saint Petersburg, FL. I rented Apartment F-2 in the Lakeside Apartment Colony. The address was 1726 - 6th Street South. The apartment complex was across the street from Bartlett Park. I remember clearly that John and Margaret McGraw, the apartment managers, left me seated on the couch in the living room of the apartment to make up my mind whether or not to sign a lease. There have been several times in my life when I've felt especially close to God. This moment of privacy was one of them. I became convinced that the Holy Spirit was urging me to rent this specific apartment immediately.

Renting the apartment has made all the difference in my life. My experiences there could not be duplicated anywhere else. I eventually bought a house about a mile away in which I still live today. In the apartment I met a terrific friend that later introduced me to the pain and mystery of tragedy. I developed an extended family and met children that have grown up to call me Dad (we still communicate often). While at Lakeside Apartments I started attending a church in the neighborhood. This led to my acceptance (and that of my children) into the church family. Years later the church closed and a young friend and I started attending our present church. This led to my meeting of Kathy in Sunday school. After a few years we married. Moving into the apartment contributed to my work and education. The University of South Florida was in walking distance which made attendance there convenient. I work for the City of Saint Petersburg. In 1980 I got placement there initially through CETA—a program I entered after a mental breakdown that possibly was in part brought on by the stresses of living in a challenged neighborhood. Overall, the apartment rental in 1976 has led down avenues that have greatly enriched my life. The experience has decisively contributed to broadening my sympathies.

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