Chapter One The American Dream or Nightmare?
By age thirty-six I had everything I wanted in life. I had reached the pinnacle. I was a doctor who had graduated number one in his class, had graduated from the finest schools, was working in a successful practice, had married a beautiful wife, had two sons, drove a hot car, wore nice clothes, owned a cute dog, and lived in a gorgeous home in a great city [Cary, NC]. I had reached heaven on earth on my own—The American Dream. I had done it! I had solved the maze of life. Brick by brick I had built my own ivory tower from the plans that the world provided me. I was taught to depend upon myself and make a name for myself, to build my own empire so I could have a nice life and provide security for our family. I was a warrior filled with selfish ambition, fighting to get ahead by letting self-discipline and self-determination provide self-accomplishment. The world kept patting me on the back for a job well done. My view of life was well cemented by worldly success and a comfortable lifestyle. I was bricked in with the mortar of pride and had no idea.
Chapter Sixteen The Confession of The Cure
“Greg? We’re home. Where are you?” my wife called. I looked at my watch and saw it was after six. I had completely lost track of time and didn’t realize that over five hours had passed. I had been completely absorbed for several days finding a diagnosis. I had been studying day and night every free moment. “I’m upstairs in the office. I’ll be right down.” What would I tell her? How could I explain everything? I wondered. Would she believe me? “What did you do all day?” she asked. “I’ll tell you later tonight. It’s a long story.” “Just tell me now. Don’t be weird. You have been reading in seclusion for days.” “We need to have peace and quiet. After the kids go to bed.” “Okay,” she agreed. The rest of the night I was pensive and apprehensive. I knew she had been attending Bible study, but I didn’t know where she stood. I wasn’t certain if she was saved or understood the reality of Christianity, since we had not discussed it. I kept thinking about what to say. My heart rate ramped up as the time approached. Finally, the kids went to bed and the moment came.
By now my heart was pounding. I walked into the bedroom. Ruth was sitting in the bed reading. I got into bed and sat up against the headboard using a few pillows to support my back. “Ruth, you know that book you bought me that I started reading? The one about the Bible?” I said hesitantly. “Yes. Why?” she said as she put down what she was reading and gave me her full attention. “Well, I finished it. In fact, I have read the entire New Testament, and studied it in detail. I know I mentioned this to you earlier, but I never told you what I was up to.” “Go on,” she said expectantly. “Well, I decided I could believe in Jesus. I realized I could go to church and do the Christianity thing.”
“That’s great. I thought you had been acting a little different. Do you want to keep going to the church that David took us to?” “Sure, but wait. There’s more. About two weeks ago I stayed up late in the office. I became convicted of the problems in my life and personality. I broke down and cried out to God asking for forgiveness and change.” She was staring intently at me. “Ruth, God did something to me. He actually changed the nature of my existence. I woke up a different person. I have spent every moment since that day trying to figure out what happened to me. Now I know—I was saved. The Holy Spirit has been given to me. God now dwells within me, as incredible as that is, and is changing me. Everything is different.”
She didn’t say a word for a few moments. She was studying my face to see if I was serious. “Wow. That’s awesome! I have become a believer also, but I have not experienced what you are talking about.” “You have to believe me. I am not crazy or some religious weirdo now,” I interjected. “I do. I do,” she said, but I sensed a trace of doubt in her expression. “I am sorry for the way I have treated you,” I sobbed as my eyes filled with water. “I was wrong. Please forgive me. I am so sorry. I am going to make it up to you. I’m not going back to my old self,” I cried. She hugged me and said, “I forgive you. It’s okay.” “No! It’s not okay. I was a miserable, arrogant, prideful, self-centered, egotistical jerk to you, the kids, and many people I know,” I stuttered, fighting off sobs in between my words. “This is all so crazy. How can God be that close to us and real, and yet nobody is talking about it?! There is something really wrong, Ruth! Something is drastically wrong. I don’t think a lot of people realize what real Christianity is. I had no idea even after studying it that God indwells someone who is saved. I can’t comprehend the magnitude of what this means for my concept of reality. Do you realize I have lived my entire life spiritually dead, separated from God? I never said one word to him, and yet he was right there all around me. He heard what I said that night. He heard me! How can God hear me out of billions of people on the earth? Think this through, Ruth. Let it sink in! We don’t know anything about our existence. This storybook life we have lived has been a mirage and façade hiding the truth. Almost everything I was taught about the truth of our existence and purpose in life was a lie. I think our entire culture is built upon a Great Deception. “I didn’t expect this. This changes everything. It’s not about church attendance or being nice. It’s not about my career or personal achievements. I don’t know what to think. I believed it was true, but I never fathomed that God was that real and active today. This means he really did it. Jesus was actually here as God and went to the cross. How can there be so many religions when this is true? My concept of reality is crumbling!”
“Greg, calm down. You’re getting yourself all wound up,” Ruth said. “I’m not going to calm down. Calm down? Do you understand what I am telling you? Do you realize what this means?” I exclaimed, still wiping tears from my eyes. “I think so. I’m new to this, also. I grew up in church, but it was all about church.” “I need to do a lot of thinking, Ruth. The implications are profound and astounding. I’m going back into the office to think. I am overwhelmed.” “Okay. We’ll talk more tomorrow. I love you.” “I love you too. Don’t tell anyone about this conversation! Not a word about this yet. I really want to start telling people what has happened to me, but I want to gather some more information first. I need a little more time.” “Okay.”
It’s the actual Chapter 16 of a book written by a Cary Dermatologist, Greg Viehman, M.D.
The God Diagnosis, Big Mac Publishers, Sylacauga, Alabama