John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

How Did I Get Here?

I can't quite understand how I got this busy. It wasn't long ago when I didn't have anything to do. And I mean I had nothing to do -- no thing. I was unemployed, had been treated miserably by two churches in a row and resorted to staying up all night worrying about things and sleeping all day. How in the world did I get from there to here?

I met with my good friend and writing partner Ken Boa today. Two things I know for sure: God loves me, and Ken has a wonderful plan for my life! His brain works overtime generating ideas for us to tackle. He's going to have to live to be 200 years old in order to do everything he's got planned.

We're finally finishing up a huge project on leadership principles. Cook is going to publish it under the title Leadership in the Image of God. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? It's taken more than a year to complete. We're currently working on a book on parenting called How Now Shall We Live as Parents? Chuck Colson's going to write the foreword on that one. We're simultaneously working on a study Bible for Zondervan. After that, he's got a series of 22 lessons on relational spirituality he wants to turn into a book. Then he's got 15 lessons on shifting from a temporal perspective to an eternal perspective. That'll make a really interesting book.

He goes on and on -- talking about all the stuff he wants us to do. And I'm sitting there thinking, "It was 18 months ago...I was working construction. I was trying really hard not to be bitter. Wondering if God had anything left for me." And here I was, sitting in a rocking chair with one of the smartest men alive. It felt overwhelming, and I kept getting distracted from what Ken was saying. He goes a mile a minute when he gets excited!

I was speaking at a church this past Sunday, and I said something that got quite a reaction. I asked, "Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror -- first thing in the morning -- and said, 'Oh, no! I'm the grown up! We're all in trouble!'?"

I'm the grown up all of a sudden. It doesn't seem that long since I was working construction. It doesn't even seem that long ago when my greatest concern was what to wear to school tomorrow. At some point in time...subtly...we cross some kind of great divide. We go from being little kids to being big kids to being grown ups. And we rarely have much more of a clue what we're doing than we did before. We're just making this up as we go along. We get better at bluffing and looking confident.