The mega-bestselling author of the Godwinks series reveals seven steps to growing more closely aligned with God using your internal GPS and becoming more effective, successful, and fulfilled in everything you do.
It’s happened to you.
You received a phone call out of the blue, or you bumped into someone who led you to a new job, a new relationship, or opportunity that totally changed your life. You probably even said, “Wow, what a coincidence I met so-and-so.” But . . . did you ever stop to ask what caused that person to be right there, at that exact moment, in your path? It was Divine Alignment: the arrangement of coincidences into a pattern of alignment so astonishing they could have come only from a higher source.
In this inspiring work, SQuire Rushnell shows readers how they can navigate life’s thorniest hurdles, rediscover the deep meaning and impact of personal prayer, and develop the individual conviction and wherewithal it takes to reach their full potential and fulfill their most ambitious dreams by honoring the book’s seven easy-to-follow steps.
In his charmingly avuncular and wonderfully optimistic voice, SQuire shares moving stories from his own and others’ lives to show the awesome strength inherent in what he calls God’s Positioning System, or GPS. All of us, he assures readers, can use our own personal GPS to grow more closely aligned with God and become vastly more effective, successful, and fulfilled in our relationships, careers, and everything we do.
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SQuire Rushnell is a popular speaker and New York Times bestselling author whose books have coined the term “Godwink,” now in mainstream usage. Within more than one million books in print, SQuire’s Godwink stories are a popular monthly feature on the NBC Today Show. He also appears frequently on several national television programs including Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and recently was the cover story for CBS Sunday Morning. As a veteran ABC Television Network executive, he led Good Morning America to the number one spot and oversaw the acclaimed Schoolhouse Rock! series and the ABC Afterschool Specials. Programs under his direction have captured more than seventy-five Emmy Awards. For the 2017 season two Godwink movies are in pre-production for the Hallmark Channel.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
GPS STEP 1
SPEAK WITH THE NAVIGATOR
Let us begin by understanding Divine Alignment.
The Hertz rent-a-car agent advised that any vehicle could be equipped with a GPS navigational device—called “Never Lost.”
I remember thinking: Wouldn’t it be great if we all had GPS; a Global Positioning System . . . making sure we are “never lost”?
That’s when the penny dropped.
EACH OF US IS BORN WITH A BUILT-IN GPS. GOD’S POSITIONING SYSTEM.
Right from birth, we come equipped with a highly sophisticated navigational package that—through an internal voice of intuition and godwinks—divinely aligns us with people, as well as events, who assist us in reaching our destiny and keep us from losing our way.
Let me expand on that.
When that telephone call that “just happened” to connect you with someone who “coincidentally” placed you on a whole new track, or you bumped into that person who, oh so serendipitously, led you to a life-changing experience—a new job, a relationship, or a geographical move—you were encountering Divine Alignment, guided by your personal GPS.
I suspect you never stopped to ask, “Why was that person at that precise place, at that exact time, in order for me to bump into them?” Or, “Why did that phone call occur at that auspicious moment?”
Does this describe you? Day in and day out you nonchalantly encounter one person after another as you bound from one event to the next, casually accepting life as a series of accidents. Only when you stop to open your mind to the immense possibilities of Divine Alignment do you begin to see the marvelous connections and invisible threads that connect you from one person to another. You begin to understand that your life is not an accident at all. You’re not like a twig randomly floating down a stream to destinations unknown.
You begin to see the marvelous connections and invisible threads that connect you from one person to another.
Yet, as you travel through life, your hands are on the steering wheel most of the way. And one of the gifts you are given, factory installed, is free will.
You’re free to go too fast or too slow. To be reckless or responsible. Or even free to drive off the highway altogether, if that’s what you choose.
You also have the free will to acknowledge . . . or to ignore . . . that you are not here by accident.
The truth is, you are part of an incredible plan that was programmed into your DNA long before you were born.
How do you access that plan?
Within your own personal GPS you have a Navigator. Someone much bigger than you—and all of us—guiding your life.
The question is, How do you tune in? How do you communicate with the Navigator? How do you determine what purpose He has planned uniquely and especially for you?
Very simply—you communicate with Him.
HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH THE NAVIGATOR?
The best way is simply by talking with Him. The same way you’d talk with your father or grandfather. We have a word for it:
DON’T LET THAT WORD STARTLE YOU
I’ve searched my mind for a euphemism—another word that isn’t so, shall we say, unnerving—conceding that we are living in a society that is hypersensitive to political correctness. These days we’ve become so gun-shy we bolt from anything that smacks of religion.
In fact, you could be asking, “Should I drop this book here and now? I don’t want to read a religious book!”
This one isn’t. It’s spiritual, hopefully inspiring, but not religious.
Remind yourself that this book is written neither by Einstein nor by Billy Graham. It’s written by me, one of the fathers of ABC’s Schoolhouse Rock! A guy who brought you TV cartoons on Saturday morning. So, how theologically heady can it be?
· · ·
Okay, regarding that little word we’re discussing, to be completely honest, I can’t conjure up a different word from the English language—other than prayer—to express what I want to say.
Moreover, prayer is not just a word we use in English. It’s a concept integral to every faith and probably every language.
In the absence of a suitable substitute, the word prayer is a perfectly fine choice.
So, I hope you’re in accord; in the absence of a suitable substitute, the word prayer is a perfectly fine choice. Let us therefore boldly welcome it to our lips along with other expressions, like talk, speak, or chat.
Programming her personal GPS by chatting with the Navigator—through prayer—is exactly what Carla did. Let’s let her story exemplify the concept.
It seemed perfectly plausible when Carla’s friend called, looking for support.
“Alice was trying to have a baby and she wanted me to come to her apartment while she took the home pregnancy test,” she remembers.
But when she got to her friend’s place, Carla learned that Alice had purchased two pregnancy tests—one for herself and another as a control for Carla to administer.
“Sure, why not,” replied Carla, glad to help out.
One of the tests indicated a positive result. The other did not.
“But we were confused and surprised,” says Carla, “because the positive one was mine!”
The two women rushed back to the pharmacy, purchased two more tests, and repeated the procedure. The results were the same.
“I quickly called my ob-gyn,” explains Carla, “who took me in for examination that very afternoon. He did an ultrasound, and sure enough, there was the little tyke.”
Carla’s emotions took off like a roller coaster. The surprise of discovering her pregnancy, at a time when her life was already in turmoil, ushered in all kinds of uncertainties, contrasted with the unexpected joy that she was going to have a baby!
During the next few days she began to worry and doubt if she was worthy of being a mother; she started cramping and bleeding.
Worried, she rushed back to the doctor’s office.
The ultrasound was repeated. But, tragically, what was revealed on the screen was a shock; she had lost her baby.
“I was devastated,” whispers Carla.
The sadness was so overwhelming that she could hardly comprehend what the doctor was telling her to do—to come back in, in a couple of days, and have a D&C procedure to prevent infection.
Carla returned home. Her cloak of grief drew tight around her. She cried and cried. She remained in bed.
“I can’t describe the feeling, except to say that I felt like I was being pushed down . . . I felt heavy.”
She stayed home from work, skipped the D&C appointment, took no phone calls, and didn’t crawl from bed for a week.
“I was despondent . . . I continued to cry and cry. I thought I might be experiencing some normal depression following a miscarriage.”
She didn’t know what to do, or to whom she could turn. So . . . she called upon the Navigator.
“I was so completely distraught that I prayed, and prayed, and prayed. I begged God to please let it all be a mistake, that the doctors were wrong, promising to be the best mother in the world if I just had one more chance. I really believed I could get the baby back, somehow, if I prayed hard enough.”
When Carla finally pulled herself out of bed, she called the doctor and went to his office.
“He was a little mad at me for not showing up for my appointment,” she recalls.
Anticipating that he might scold her, she cautiously told him that she thought she might still be pregnant.
The doctor just looked at her sympathetically. He’d heard this before.
“You’re having a normal reaction to the trauma of losing a baby,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “Many women feel this way after a miscarriage. But . . .” he continued with firmness, “it’s very important now for you to have the D&C.”
Carla looked at him directly. She nodded slightly.
“I will. Provided you give me one more ultrasound.”
He stared at her a moment. Then, reluctantly, he agreed.
She quietly lay on the examining table as the doctor and nurses prepped for the ultrasound. They ran the instrument over her tummy while looking at the results on the screen.
And there, in black and white, was the very definite shape of a baby!
Carla could not believe her eyes, which were filling with tears of joy and relief as her lower lip began to quiver.
The doctor was speechless.
“I can’t explain it,” he said.
It remained unsaid, yet everyone in the room thought it: Thank God Carla was motivated to skip the D&C. For surely, had she not missed her appointment, there would have been no baby.
To this day Carla remains astonished with the series of events, and how her pleadings to the Navigator resulted in an outcome that no one could have predicted.
Her daughter is now sixteen years old and Carla has lived up to her promise to devote herself to raising her. She left her career behind to be a full-time mother and has no regrets. She thanks God every day for giving her the strength to believe in her own senses, overriding the doctors, when they were so certain that she was wrong and they were right.
Programming her personal GPS by talking with the Navigator . . . prayer . . . worked.
HOW DO YOU PRAY?
Very simply, prayer is communication with someone up there bigger than you. God.
Prayer doesn’t require pomp and circumstance.
It needn’t be executed on your knees.
You don’t have to say “thees” and “thous.”
You don’t even have to speak out loud. You can talk to God inside your head or write Him a letter.
Let me expand on that thought. I remember the time an elderly country gentleman named Ralph Lankler told me, with a twinkle in his eye, “I write a letter to God every morning.”
“What do you say?”
“Oh, I just tell Him whatever’s on my mind—thank Him for the gifts He’s sent since my last letter.”
“How do you sign it?”
Hmm. Nice idea, isn’t it?
My point is this: You just need to communicate with your Navigator—God—the way you would with your dad or a loved and respected grandparent. When you do, you’ll discover it’s your daily dialogue with Him that enables you to effectively program your GPS.
It is during these quiet times with your Maker that you are also giving Him an opportunity to speak to you, through the still small voice within. You may be surprised at the number of times, during prayer, that a perfect idea pops into your head. During these moments of complete attention, you are more apt to be actively listening for God’s guidance.
CAN I TALK TO THE NAVIGATOR ABOUT ANYTHING?
The Bible provides you with that permission.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
JOHN 15:7 (NIV)
WHAT ABOUT SOMETHING REALLY IMPOSSIBLE?
Let me introduce another story that will most likely cause you to say “that’s impossible,” notwithstanding the empirical evidence that I’m going to lay right in front of you.
TONI AND DAVID
Toni Espinoza, a forty-eight-year-old mother of two, looked into her friend’s doubtful eyes.
She had just quietly told him something she knew would be difficult for anyone to understand. But Crawford Higgins was a longtime family friend. Over the years Toni and her husband, David, had shared many family issues with Crawford and his wife. They’d grown up together. Their kids played together. They attended the same church. Toni and David valued Crawford’s opinion.
“Toni, are you crazy?” said Crawford bluntly.
They’d just been talking about the issue that had gripped their two families for several weeks, ever since David had been told by three different cardiologists that unless he had a heart transplant, he would die. Perhaps within months.
The two couples had shared information about every doctor’s visit. They pooled medical research each had done. They had prayed for David’s survival. But now Toni was sharing a secret with Crawford—that she had prayed for something else—confirmation that David would be well, by asking God to make it snow in their Mexican border community of McAllen, Texas. On Christmas Day!
“Toni, you’ve lived here all your life,” Crawford said, incredulously. “Have you ever even seen snow?”
She slowly shook her head and smiled.
Crawford stared back at her.
“Do you know the last time we got snowflakes in McAllen?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “A hundred and nine years ago.”
Toni smiled again. For inexplicable reasons, she had peace in her heart that surpassed all understanding.
But Crawford wasn’t finished.
“And . . . it has never snowed on Christmas Day.”
· · ·
Toni and David Espinoza, both in their late forties, live in a modest home on a quiet street of McAllen, which sits on the southernmost border of the United States and Mexico, five and a half hours south of Houston. In the dead of winter “cold,” in McAllen it is seventy degrees.
Toni and David were grateful for lives abundant in joy and values. Their marriage was nearly thirty years strong, and Trisha and Lisa, their two daughters, were out of the nest and on their way.
Then the devastating news hit them like a ton of bricks.
It was midyear 2004 and David was advised that congestive heart failure had enlarged and damaged his heart to such an extent that it was working at only 10 percent capacity.
“We’re surprised he’s still walking,” said each doctor they saw, in so many words.
“A heart transplant is your only option,” they echoed. “Without it, you’ve only got months to live.”
Soon Toni and David were driving up to Houston for further evaluations at the famed DeBakey Heart Center at Baylor Hospital. There, it was confirmed that David’s ejection fraction, which should be in the normal range of 50 to 70 percent, was only 15 to 20 percent.
Ejection fraction (EF) is defined this way: “A test that determines how well your heart pumps with each beat.”
DeBakey doctors advised David that it was prudent to put him on the list for a heart donor, warning that it often takes nine months or more to find a perfect match. Even if one were found, the transplant would need to take place within about three hours. Given the distance between McAllen and Houston, that would be another serious issue.
Toni and David clung to each other.
The report of each doctor made them feel pummeled. Yet what could they do but grasp for strands of hope that they would be delivered a miracle and somehow pull through?
Arriving at the most critical crossroads of their lives—with life or death hanging in the balance and the couple consumed by uncertainty—they did what you might have done; they prayed. Without even realizing it, they were programming their personal GPS by speaking to the Navigator. God.
Praying several times a day, Toni cried out to God to save her husband. Yet even as she did ...
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