Introduction - A World within a World
At twenty-three years of age and with summer just around the comer, my goal was to assemble that amazing piece of Detroit muscle that was still sitting in my garage - 72 TRANS AM 455 H.O. The past few summers that car had completely ruled the streets. It was pure classic muscle, and now with an upgraded big block, rebuilt M22 four-speed, and a twelve bolt posi rear-end geared for the streets with a pair of fat N50's, – it was time to rule the streets once again. The only thing missing was a fresh new paint job. I couldn't wait to pull that car out of the garage. Nothing like a fine tuned machine on a Saturday night cruise searching for the ultimate race.
But one Sunday evening it all changed for me. As I walked out of that building after listening to an amazing speaker, I realized the things I highly valued had suddenly taken on a whole new perspective. Less than an hour before as we all sat in the sanctuary; beams of light had filled the building. I was totally unprepared as the presence of heaven descended all around me. I was stunned by a powerful mes sage of sacrifice while feeling completely embraced by love, and when the angels appeared, I was startled by the extraordinary. What I saw was a world within a world! An unfamiliar spiritual realm right smack in the middle of my natural realm.
Instantly my perceptions of me, my life, and my purpose were altered. Every comer of my mind was challenged and every emotion was touched by this new discovery. I slowly made my way to the car replaying every detail in my mind. The friends who had invited me, the ones who cleverly steered me into the meeting were standing at a distance, – smiling. They knew I just experienced the same spiritual encounter that had invaded their lives only a few months prior, – I was setup. These boys at one time had a serious night life, but their day of spiritual awakening changed all that. I smiled back, acknowledging that they had accomplished their mission; I too, without question, had been changed.
I had been in the presence of spiritual messages before, but never with a powerful demonstration like that. The power I had been accustom to was from a grandfather whose stem hands and rigorous rules were fueled by a form of religious do's and don'ts, completely missing the power of grace that I had just encountered. All of this strict religious conviction had then been handed down to my father, who in tum tweaked it and used it upon his family. It was an environment shrouded with tension and a pride that fueled the fires of division. Before my eyes I saw my father become the very thing he himself once hated, eventually drifting into the Pandora’s Box of religion. His tapping into those religions slowly took its toll on the family. The tighter my dad gripped the family the more everything fell apart, especially when it came to his sons. My older brother was kicked out at sixteen; my other brother, a year younger, left shortly after. As for me, I hoped to hang around long enough until I made it to Art College.
When I was eleven I completed the famous art talent test that stormed the country. Not long after mailing back the test, two men representing a major USA Art Institute, flew into town and came to our house. My parents were taken by surprise when they heard what these men had to say. My test had impressed the men and they said I had the potential to work for a major studio one day, – Hollywood! Disneyland! As a young boy I had amazed friends and teachers with my artistic talent. Art was my life. In high school most of my art ended up in a display case to show the school's art curriculum. Whatever pieces I had left ended up in the living rooms of my various art teachers, – never to find their way home. Even as an eleven year old I knew my art would impact the world one day, I just needed someone to direct me. And now men from an art institute offered to equip and release me into that amazing world of the creative arts. Knowing I was the sole reason for these men to come banging on our front door- I hid; and with excitement while peeking around the comer, I overheard the whole conversation. To my surprise, my dad said no to their offer. I was crushed as the front door closed. I then heard the car slowly drive off.
Inside I knew I was destined to do really good art and work for a major studio. I became even more determined to bank enough high school credits to get me into college, and when I was seventeen I accomplished that goal. But my life took another tum. My dad decided to move with what was left of the family away from the prairies and to the west coast for his new job. Shortly after the big move, and with no college funds in sight, my ambitions of becoming a major artist slowly crumbled around me. As a compromise, I took on a job as a junior paste-up artist working the night shift for the local newspaper. Then one morning when I got home early after finishing my shift, I was surprised to see my bags packed and sitting at the back door like two dogs waiting for their morning walk. For some reason I had never been able to convince my parents that I worked graveyard. Home was never really a fun place for me; most of the time I felt like I was intruding and so I spent very little time there. To my parents I was an eighteen-year-old coming home late, who was working all day only to party all night. With two brothers already gone, perhaps it was their way of telling me they wanted the nest cleared out.
I packed those two bags into the trunk of my 69 Mustang and drove to the only other place that felt like home – the local coffee shop. I remember staring out the window, working on my fourth cup of coffee, and having that "bug hitting the windshield" feeling. As far as becoming a professional artist was concerned, well that dog was not hunting there anymore. I was now a working eighteen year old with his share of rent payments, car insurance payments, phone bill expenses, food expenses, and the most important one of all, – the fuel bill for the Mustang! With those monthly bills now pounding on my new front door, I realized I had entered the adult world.
After a year of being a bored paste-up artist I decided to channel myself into a more exciting art form - the art of a well-built muscle car. My love for the classic muscle car had started during my last year of high school, the very reason why I had purchased the 69 Mustang. For the next few years the beauty of these cars consumed me as I passionately sculptured my many classic pieces. My identity as an artist took on a whole new form. I had entered the eighties version of American Graffiti. The small town I was living in was filled with custom cars, and that sub-culture introduced me to many of my new friends. Then one summer while sanding down my latest art piece, former high school friends dropped by, and that's when my spiritual journey all began. I was never prepared for the journey; nothing in my life qualified me for it. My curiosity urged me to take further steps down that spiritual road. What drove me forward was my willingness to explore the unknown of something that was so intriguing.
For the past twenty years I've been journaling my experiences and continue to do so. The top shelf in my bookcase is filled with binders testifying to the prophetic journey. The events related throughout this website are drawn directly from those journals. To have the opportunity to embrace all the mysteries that unfolded has been something absolutely amazing and at times almost unbelievable. As you engage, I know the revelation within has the potential to lead you into an incredible journey, – as it did me. For me the journey continues; for you, well it could start today!
Welcome to ' The Prophetic Journey '
- Rick Groenheyde