My niece, Deni, who for some odd reason thinks I’m OK and have had an interesting life, has asked me to write my autobiography. Now, I have thought my life interesting, but not that anyone else would consider it so. But I’m going to write this if only for her benefit.
Life has always been to me a Great Adventure. With all its ups and downs, heartaches, etc., it is still a Great Adventure. But my overriding concern and question all my life has been, “What in Hell is it all about?” In other words, “What is the meaning of life?” It wasn’t until my fortieth year that I found the answer and from there on everything was up, whereas before, it had all been down, ’til I hit absolute bottom. At that time, I had an experience of God that made me a newborn Christian. It was the biggest event in my life, and it replaced my misery with true happiness.
My life heretofore had been, for the first thirty-nine years, a search for Truth, and thereafter a spiritual journey. Because I think that the vast majority of people can identify with my problems and the answers I found, I think the book may be well worth writing. For life is essentially a spiritual journey and the sooner we realize it, the sooner we can get on the right track. If I had known about God at twenty what I know now my life would have been a much better and happier one. I have called life a great adventure– it is really an adventure in the nature of a treasure hunt or a hunt for the Pearly of Great Price. Try Happiness. We humans might logically assume that the Truth about life would be made clear in due course by our parents and teachers as we grow up. But in this only quasi-Christian society, such is simply not the case. I am convinced that the vast majority of people have to stumble on it themselves, as I did. It is a great tragedy for the Truth is readily available in Christian teaching.
About the title, there is a story in Dad’s family that connects us with the hero of Gulliver’s Travels. It is pretty well established that our ancestor was a boat builder on the Thames above London. The story goes that he was a retired sea captain who got spinning tall yearns, probably with a pipe in one hand and a jug in the other. His reputation spread and Jonathan Swift heard about him and went up the Thames to visit him, and then wrote his book based on these tall tales. I don’t know how true it is, but it makes a good story.
The work “Homecoming” is the title I chose in contrast to the work “Travels” in the original book, implying that I finally made homeport. For as I have heard someone say, “Our home is in Heaven, we’re here on a visit, and having a Hell of a time getting back.” We are strangers in a strange land and our hearts will never be fully satisfied until we are back home with God.
In any case, when people ask me my name I say, “Gulliver. Gulliver’s Travels, you know. He was my Great Uncle Lem.”
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