Known: “Show Me You Exist”

(Post #4 in a 4-part series collaboration)

By David Goodman (bio below)

A few months ago, in remarkably certain terms, God showed me that I’m known to Him. Therefore, when Pastor Gregory invited me to write an article for a series he was calling Known, I was excited for the opportunity.

My story starts in early September. Something seemed wrong as I was getting ready for work. My necklace felt lighter. I hadn’t put my shirt on yet and when I looked down, I didn’t see the religious amulet my wife bought me sixteen years ago.  The clasp on my necklace was closed, and it functioned properly.

How then did I lose the amulet? 

I looked everywhere for the amulet. I guess I was hoping for a small miracle, so I checked the trunk of my car, inside the refrigerator, on bookshelves. Finally, I admitted to myself that I was not going to find the amulet.

Several weeks went by.  In early October, my daughter was in town. She goes to school in Tampa. We landed on the topic of God’s existence because lately her faith has been very shaky.  We recently moved to Sarasota from Milwaukee, and she was struggling with the transition. It hurt to see how sad she looked.

I don’t ask God for help too often. I have always assumed that He knows what I need. But when I worked out later that day, I asked God to show me He exists.

I’m a swimmer. I count each stroke because it helps me stay focused on my pace. On this day, I replaced counting with a prayer: “Please God, show me that you exist.” Each syllable for each stroke.

About 45 minutes later, after I had repeated my prayer more than 200 times, I was nearly done swimming when a shiny object caught my eye. Without thinking, I reached for my neck. Nothing there. Quickly I returned to the other side of the pool. I dove down and grabbed my necklace.

I stood in the pool untangling it. Suddenly, part of the clasp broke off. I cupped my hand to catch the tiny piece of metal as it sank in the water. I swear I had it; but when I opened my hand to place it on the side of the pool for a closer look, my hand was empty.

I stared at the side of the pool. It had to be there. Then another object caught my eye. I reached for it without thinking. It took a few seconds to grasp the inconceivable. That I was holding the amulet I had lost weeks ago.

I left the pool. I was walking to the locker room. “Thank you, God,” came to my lips.

About a month later, while driving my daughter and son to a movie, I told them about my experience. They were fascinated and heartened by my story.

I dropped them off and, as I drove away, I saw them in my rear-view mirror for a moment, both smiling before disappearing into a crowd.


Blogger Bio: David J. Goodman earned both a PhD and Master of Education in psychology from Loyola University of Chicago (1994) and Indiana University (1989), respectively.  He started his professional career in 1992 with the Chicago Public School System as a certified school psychologist. His clinical training continued in 1994, when he took a post-doctoral residency on a children’s inpatient floor at Saint Therese Medical Center in Waukegan, IL. During the next 25 years, half of which Dr. Goodman spent as a Wisconsin licensed psychologist, he served individuals and families in medical rehab, skilled nursing, community mental health, and private practice.
​Dr. Goodman recently moved from Milwaukee to Sarasota. As a staff psychologist with Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast, among other duties and responsibilities, he will focus on helping at-risk children and teens by participating in SCSGC’s outreach efforts, and by providing psychological testing, behavioral counseling, and psychotherapy to those identified youth and their families. 

4 Running/Life Seasonal Questions

I’ve lived in Florida for 30 years, but I’ve only been a runner 9 of those years.  In the fall of 2007, I graduated from an occasional jogger to an intentional runner.  When the summer of 2008 came around, I encountered for the first time what it means to have to change gears because of the rise in humidity and heat.

A friend (occasional runner) brought this up today-how he’s challenged to run over a mile right now, having trouble breathing, etc.  Breaking News: Running in December is not the same as running in July!  After that conversation, it crossed my mind how the adjustments runners must make based on seasons is very applicable to seasons of life in general.  

  • Season of raising a young family
  • Season of transition (job changing, moving, retiring, empty nesting)
  • Season of busyness (school starting/ending, holidays, kid’s recreational activities)
  • Season of recovery (from surgery, from loss, from the other seasons)

With that in mind, here are some questions from a runner’s perspective that might help you get through your season of life. 

1.  How long might this season be?

This might sound trivial, possibly unnecessary. Think about it though. A woman knows roughly how long her pregnancy will be.  We all know how long winter lasts.  That knowledge, in some sense, gets us through that period of time.  So, to the best of your knowledge, determine how long your season might be.  Do some research on empty nesters.  Read about how long to expect your family to acclimate to a new city.  Step one, know the length of your season.

2.  What adjustments do you need on make?

One adjustment I’ve made in the past for the summer is to move indoors, train on the treadmill.  Another is to change my weekly routine-how many days I run and how long each run will be.  And every year it may look different.  Your adjustments might be changing your bedtime or when the alarm goes off.  Maybe using social media more or less.  Your whole routine of life may need assessing.  Not a problem.  If you’ll embrace it, you may find some exciting changes that you’ll wish you’d made long ago.

3.  What should your pace be?

Summer running pace is much slower.  You find that out the easy way or the hard way.  Making adjustments can also be easy or hard.  So pace yourself.  Don’t put too much pressure on finding your new norm too quickly.  Be gracious to yourself.  It’s a new season.  

4.  What are your short term goals?

Summer is not racing season.  Much like baseball players in the winter or football players in the spring, you should set some short term goals that keep you in shape for the “show.”  If survival is all you can manage, then shoot for it.  Most likely, you can do more than survive.  You might actually consider hiring a life coach to walk you through this season.  If you are pretty good at goal setting, then determine what you hope to achieve by the end of this season.

God brought you to this season.  You don’t have to dehydrate, heatstroke, or find yourself on the side of the road asking yourself how did you get there.  Stop right now and make yourself answer these questions.  This season will pass.  Get the most out of it.  Determine the length, make adjustments, set your pace, and reach for your goals.