A series of unfortunate events. It’s more than a children’s novel. Maybe it describes how life has been going for you? Then, unexpected luck. It blindsides you. Renews your hope. Revives your spirit.
Today, we will dive into Chapter 4 of the new book I’m writing called The Gift – What You Have That the Richest Man Can’t Buy. This is a story for anyone who wants to discover their unique gift so they can bless others.
If you’d like to get access to the first 5 chapters of the book, you can do so by clicking here.
The Unexpected Invitation
Rather listen? Click play below to hear the audio version.
The next morning Mack woke up to an empty bed. At first it startled him until he heard everyone downstairs. He had just slept in. That was something he had not done in a very long time. He actually kind of enjoyed it. For the last several years, he was up way before the sun.
He had to in order to catch the subway and be to work on time. Even though it felt strange for him not to have an agenda for the day, he sort of liked it. The real challenge was figuring out how to survive all day at home with the tension as high as it was. He managed to get dressed in order to head downstairs for breakfast.
When he arrived in the kitchen, he heard his kids say unanimously, “Daddy!” That made him feel good until Kayla said, “Daddy, what are you doing here?” It was an honest question, but it still hurt. I guess the kids have been used to being without me, he thought. Jordan had pancakes and syrup all over his cute little face. It was obvious he had been taking turns between using his fork and using his hands to eat his breakfast.
After breakfast, Mack decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. He thought it would be a good way to clear his thoughts and besides being in the house with Amy all day was probably a recipe for disaster.
As he felt the coolness of the morning, it began to revive his spirit just a bit. There was just something about being outside. He continued walking toward the back of his subdivision. The last phase of houses were yet to be built. The roads were paved, the lots were primed, but there was just land and no homes. The building of new houses had come to a screeching halt since the recession hit.
As the road winded to the back of the property, he saw one empty culd-e-sac after another. It was quiet and peaceful. Much different than what he experienced most mornings. Crowded subways and grumpy people with a hot latte in tote, all rushing to work.
Walking to the end of the street all he saw was empty lots and the woods that seemed to outline the back of each property. He saw the birds as they whipped around, played and chirped. Life must be easy for birds, he wondered. He noticed the mist rising from the pond at the end of one of the culd-e-sacs. He decided to just sit by the pond and think for awhile.
He pulled out the paper he had written on the day before. It was the document he began to write as he sat on the park bench in Central Park. It was his attempt to get all of his frustrations out on paper. He began to read each item one by one. It was a long list of everything that was frustrating him in life. He took another deep breath as he began to fill the pressure pour onto him once again. He still had no answers to all of these problems.
As he looked up, Mack noticed the pond was as still as ice and the mist rose from the pond in a calming, soft way. The sun was just beginning to peak over the tops of the trees. He saw the rays of the sun as they began to shine through onto the pond. What an awesome sight, he thought. The pure beauty of the moment caused him to turn his eyes upward.
“God, if you are at all interested in me, give me a sign. Just something. I don’t know what to do or where to go from here. I have always believed in you, but I am beginning to have my doubts. Do you even really care about me? If so, prove it!” Mack crumbled the paper and shoved it in his pocket. He stood up, brushed himself off, and began to make the trek towards home.
As he arrived within a 100 feet or so from his home, he noticed a FedEx truck parked directly in front of his house. What could that be? He wondered. It had to have been something Amy ordered. She knows we can’t afford to spend any money right now, he thought angrily.
The FedEx sped off before he got to the house. Walking in the front door, he saw Amy holding an envelope package.
“What is it?” He asked Amy.
“I don’t know. I didn’t order anything,” She answered.
At least that made him feel a bit better. Whatever it was, he wasn’t going to be happy unless it was a million dollar check from Publisher’s Clearing House. He grabbed the tab on the envelope and ripped it open. Inside was a letter and four plane tickets to Idaho. Confused he began to read the letter:
Mack and Family,
I hope you are doing well. I recently heard that times have been tough on you, Amy, and the kids. Grandma and I have been praying for a few days about what we might be able to do to help. Included with this letter is 4 round trip airline tickets to Idaho. Sorry if we are being a little presumptuous, but we are both convinced that you need to get away and come see us.
Can’t wait to see you, Amy and the kids!
P.S. The tickets are non-refundable.
Mack was speechless. It’s been awhile since he even spoke with his Grandfather. He had a mix of emotions. On one hand, it was a bit rude to just shove 4 airplane tickets in someone’s face and expect them to drop what they were doing and come out to Idaho for a week. On the other hand, he did ask God for a sign. There was no denying that it was a sign.
By the time Mack finished his thinking, Amy had just finished reading the letter herself. She took a deep breath and was trying to process this as well. She always had a tendency to think through all of the details. Mack was more spontaneous, but he learned early on in their marriage that she wasn’t that way and needed time to process out the specifics.
Amy finally spoke up, “Well, I’m not completely happy about it, but I don’t want to waste their money and generosity either. I guess we’re going. Besides, it will be good for kids to spend some time with them. Your Grandparents are getting up there in age.”
Mack just listened. He was a bit surprised that she jumped on board so quickly, but then again he wondered if deep inside she wanted a change of pace herself.
“OK, looks like we are going on a road trip kids.” Mack said shrugging his shoulders. With that, the packing for the trip began. After all, the plane was scheduled for take off in less than 48 hours.