I’ve concluded that identifying the GODwinks in your life will help you develop a confident sense of direction, affirming that no matter how often you think you are lost, rudderless and alone, that somewhere up above, there’s an extraordinary GPS … your very own God’s Positioning System … and you are being divinely aligned.
One of the best ways to prove this to yourself, is to create a chronicle of Godwinks in your past, particularly focusing on those that occurred at critical crossroads. I think of this as doing an archaeological dig into your own history, uncovering those times when your life took a change of direction: a geographic move; the loss of someone; or some significant event. As you dig back, you may discover GODwinks that you’d forgotten all about.
To test this thesis in my own life, I focused on the moment I first realized what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was in sixth grade. A visit to a radio station had hooked me; I wanted to be a radio announcer
From then on, I spent every day talking into a sawed-off broom handle, forcing my voice down low, like David Brinkley’s. That drove my older brother crazy. What really got him riled up was when I imitated my hero, a morning personality named Dean Harris on a radio station 60 miles south of my little town of Adams Center, New York. You see, Dean Harris was fond of energetically ordering his legions of fans to “get up and march around the breakfast table.” When I repeated that command to my brother at the kitchen table, a Wheaties box would come sailing in my direction.
Then, as I thought about it, a fuzzy memory came into view. I realized that a remarkable GODwink had occurred.
I was 15 and had somehow landed an interview with Jim Higgins, the general manager of the only TV station in our area, 10 miles to the north in Watertown. My only mode of transportation was hitchhiking, a relatively safe undertaking in those days. But, the traffic on that rural road was sparse. Only a few trucks and hay balers passed me by. Fretting that I had not left enough time to get to my appointment, my faith began to waver.
Then, out of the blue, a little green Volkswagen suddenly swerved to the side of the road.
The door flew open.
A cheerful, balding man beckoned me in. I gratefully spewed out not only my destination, but the purpose of my mission as well.
When I came up for air, the man thrust out a handshake, and said, “You tell Jim Higgins that I said ‘Hello.’”
“By the way,” he added, “my name is Dean Harris.”
Of all the people who could have helped me get to where I was going that day, the person who was divinely aligned to stop and pick me up, taking me to my first job interview in an industry that became my profession — was none other than my hero, Dean Harris.
For a boy with a dream on a lonely road whose candle of faith was beginning to flicker, that GODwink was evidence of Divine Alignment, boosting my faith, just when I needed it. It was an extraordinary wink from above, at the very genesis of my career, assuring me to stay the course, and that everything would turn out just fine.
Oh yes, I got the job. And, my personal journey in the business of television for the next 40 years — with benchmarks like fathering “Schoolhouse Rock” to running “Good Morning America” — all flowed from that single day when a wide-eyed boy stood at the side of a country road.
Does this story trigger a memory of your own?
Are you ready to grab a pad and pen, sink into a comfortable chair and let your mind wander back to some of your earliest memories?
Think about these questions…
• What was your first recollection of what you wanted to be when you grew up?
• How old were you? Where you were? Who was with you?
• Was there some event, some place or some person that ignited that career or life interest?
• How did you go about taking a first step?
• Finally, can you recall a GODwink — any unusual experience or happenstance — relating to those memories?
Don’t worry if you were unable to answer the last question, it may come to you later. Godwinks are overlooked by everyone.
My life’s mission today is to help raise awareness of these wonderful little encouragers — God’s way of sending you a person-to-person message, every day: “Hey kid, I’m thinking about you, right now. You’re not alone.”