Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it!

As long as I can remember I wanted two things: to become the vice president of a company (I am not sure why I didn't wish for anything higher?) and to own and operate my own business. I had no specific order of events in mind, but those were my dreams.

My professional life started long before I knew that Jesus loved me, and, as written in Psalm 119, that He would become the "light unto my path". So, without any other form of guidance, I struck out on my own for fortune and glory. Unfortunately, they don't teach the principles of "striking out" in engineering school. The only person I was trying to glorify was myself and I certainly was not making a fortune.

Over the years, I married, bought a house, started a family, and advanced in my chosen profession. My career became my god, and my family took second place. I believed that my identity was wrapped up in what I did for a living, so I spent all my time there. Work was what I did and who I was. I was addicted to work, and loved it. Or so I thought.

By the late 80's I was burned out. I watched my wife's life change when she accepted the Lord. She found a peace that was obvious. I was curious, and in 1988, I took the step of faith, accepting Christ, at a Billy Graham Crusade. Over the next few years, many changes took place, including a job change that would put my life into a healthy balance. God first, followed by family and career.

The first half of the 1990's was just great for my family and me. My relationship with Christ grew stronger, our family grew closer, and my career was going well. In fact, I became a company VP in 1995! Three years later, I was named President of a new corporate subsidiary. Life was great! I was in-the-zone! I must admit, however, that at the time I did not recognize God's hand in what I was doing. One dream had not only been realized, but exceeded. And I took all the credit!

God is so good, loving and faithful, that he was working on my other dream during these "great years". Things were so good that I almost forgot my other dream. Remember, I wanted to be my own boss and my own business. God knew my heart, and was busy laying the foundation for the business.

I have always loved working with wood. In 1990 I made a cross for a Christian friend. That gift multiplied many times over when the friend's wife asked me to make ten crosses for her to give as Christmas presents. As people received the crosses, they sought me out to make more. It gave me great pleasure to make the crosses, and even more knowing that these symbols of Christ's love were hanging in homes all over the country. During the 1990's I made hundreds of crosses, and was starting to assess the potential for a viable business. I was thinking like a businessman.

The Lord was working on my heart and convicting me, through a series of coincidences, to look at the cross business as a form of ministry. As the latter half of the decade went by the call to start the business (God was still reminding me that it was a ministry) became stronger and more real. I had a very strong visual picture of the business, but the push to start this business, even on a part-time basis did not come.

Through prayer I was convicted that the business needed a name. The name needed to have biblical significance. It needed to reflect the nature of the business. My wife Yvonne and I prayed for several years about the name. Several came to mind but none seemed right. The business never started. Was it just another dream? At Christmas time in 2000 Yvonne excitedly called me at work with good news. "How about WoodSong?" She asked. "Where did that come from?" I asked. She wasn't sure. It just popped into her head as she was driving. When she got home she looked into Scripture for confirmation. Right in front of her eyes was Psalm 96:11-13; "…the trees of the forest will sing for joy…" After many years God had provided the perfect name!

God knew that I needed a push if I was ever going to make WoodSong Inspired Creations a success. A month later, through an unforeseen quirk in company politics, I was dismissed from my comfortable corporate position as the president of the company, which had been my career up to this point.

This is where the "why me, Lord" phase of this dream begins. How it continues will definitely be according to God's plan for my life!

Byline:

Tom Bourne is the President and Owner of WoodSong Inspired Creations. To see Tom's beautiful, hand-crafted Christian artifacts, go to www.woodsongonline.com. While you are there, be sure to sign up to receive the WoodSong monthly newsletter We Walk By Faith. Please tell us your faith-walk story so we can share it with others.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Bourne is the President and Owner of WoodSong Inspired Creations. To see Tom's beautiful, hand-crafted Christian artifacts, go to www.woodsongonline.com. While you are there, be sure to sign up to receive the WoodSong monthly newsletter We Walk By Faith. Please tell us your faith-walk story so we can share it with others.