Chris Rabalais

By Chris Rabalais

Faith and Fear – Keeping a Promise

Faith and Fear – Keeping a Promise 150 150 Chris Rabalais

I don’t believe in accidents. Sure, you might dent your fender in a parking mishap or lose your keys. However, when it comes to the big things, everything fits together. As Steve Jobs said (paraphrasing), you don’t often get it in the moment or looking forward but you can put it all together looking backward. That is certainly true for me. If you can put together what is happening in the moment, that is a special gift. While I won’t claim to be totally “tuned in”, I am starting to see patterns developing more quickly than in the past.

At the New York event about a month ago, I was offered the special opportunity to give a talk that I titled “Swimming with the Black Swan”. In short, it was a 5-minute personal narrative of the trials that I went through starting in 2009 due to the “Great Recession”. Think building a financial exchange in the middle of a global meltdown and you’ll get the picture.

There is a part two to this story…

In late 2013, after nearly 4 years of constant misery, I was close to the point of finally throwing my computer out the window… maybe after setting it on fire. I spent every waking moment of my life and every ounce of energy trying to work my way out of the hole. For every problem I solved, two more would show up to take its place. Now, I was raised Catholic but had long gone dormant. Once I got my driver license (15 in Louisiana at the time), I made sure I was always somewhere else when Sunday rolled around. That being said, I never doubted the existence of God and even carried a Bible in my bag everywhere I went. However, my actions didn’t line up with my Faith. I had read many books about people who “made deals with God”. So, I figured… why not? I dropped to my knees and basically said… “O.K., God… here’s the deal… you show me the way out of this and how I can put everything back together and I’ll do whatever you say… AND I will tell everyone what happened.” Now, keep in mind that I spent thousands of hours locating and trying to work out the solutions and I wasn’t getting anywhere. I was simply managing to keep my nose barely above the water line and my arms were getting extremely tired. Well, from that minute.. and I mean the MINUTE that I completed that prayer, everything started to change. What wasn’t working started working even though I changed absolutely nothing. Resources of every type started showing up at my door, exactly what I needed when I needed it.. sometimes to the MINUTE. The statistician in me knows without any doubt whatsoever that something extraordinary was (and is) happening.

I know some of you are shaking your head.

That’s fine. It is the world we live in. At age 49, I no longer care who I offend or who believes me or not. My job is to convey the truth as it happened. That was my “Deal with God” and I’m keeping it. There are far too many details to cover in a short piece like this but suffice it to say I could fill a shoebox full of index cards with all the specific details of needs being met every single time. There are many business leaders in this world who are faithful men and women. However, due to their internal trepidations or pressures from the board and/or stockholders, they fear saying things like this. I do not. I know that the right people will hear this and the wrong people will ignore/reject it. The relationships we should have will materialize and the rest will melt… fine by me. Sadly, most Christian executives refer to their faith “in parenthesis” and never foundational to everything they do. Not me…without God, there would be no AllSportsMarket and I might not even be here at all.

Let me be clear about which “God” I am speaking of. I am not speaking of a tree, the moon, the sun, myself or some sparkly crystals. I am speaking of the God of Israel, the God of the Bible. Two weeks ago today, I stood at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and said thank you in person.

If you want to hear a similar story from someone much better known, pick up Brandon Steiner’s new book “Living on Purpose”.

Share This