The smoke from a huge, black cigar lay heavy across the room, stirred only by the cigar itself as it leaped from mouth to hand, swirled and circled up from the chair, danced across the huge office, then paused to jab at the air like a driving piston.
Ed and I sat in stunned silence. There was a dank, black empty feeling oozing down over me. Cold and distant, yet agonizingly painful. The words spewing from the smoke of the fat man’s cigar, were going astray, some hitting, some missing. I was drifting in and out. Had all of this been for nothing? The question was directed at God. With attitude I’m afraid. The years of preparation? The experience? The planning? The dreams?
“Totally wrong for Paramount!’ barked the mouth behind the cigar. “It’s too damn sweet. And the music is… well… it’s… it’s too sticky… it’s all wrong. If you cut the Clairol sequence, we might try something with Saturday matinees, but beyond that… I mean, at night it doesn’t have a chance!”
The words fell out of his mouth like crystal shattering on a tile floor. We had tried Disney. And Fox, and MGM, and Warner Brothers. Everybody! This simply couldn’t be happening!
We couldn’t get a distributor. No one wanted it. Not one. Zero.
The following summer Variety reported that the movie Benji had the #3 box office gross in all the land. Most of it with adults. At night.
God’s hand at work. Up close and personal.
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Learn how the original Benji movie was made and distributed without any help from Hollywood. And how a successful film career morphed into the National Bestselling book The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd, changing the lives of thousands of horses – and people – for the better.
Live the day God actually spoke to me. He couldn’t have painted a better picture if He had waltzed into Dallas, placed his hand around my throat and said, “Look stupid, I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to set all this up, now back off and let this man talk!”
All true. But it took another twenty years for me to fully, unequivocally trust God. And to actually see the way God had been active in my life from the beginning. To understand how every devastation that I believed to be surely the end of life as I knew it had to happen exactly as God orchestrated it or there never would’ve been a Benji. Or five Benji films. And there never would’ve been best selling books changing the lives of horses all across the planet. Or a second love of my life after my Carolyn was called home.
I’m told that God Only Knows is like reading a novel, emotionally involving and full of conflict while ever shredding away the camouflage of our resistance to fully trusting God so that we might banish the worries and concerns and climb out of the devastation because we know He is there, front and center, giving us the actual evidence that He is actively involved in our lives and loves us. Evidence that we can see and feel and touch.
I had to learn that God’s plan almost always involved the dreaded word “change;” that very harsh times are often the cook pot of wonderful events; that God is always working in your life whether you want Him to or not. All of that is what this book is about. While hopefully inspiring others to experience for themselves that moment when you blink through astounded eyes and realize that what you just witnessed was God in your life.
Note: The first five paragraphs above are excerpts from God Only Knows.