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Do You Believe in Destiny?

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Do You Believe in Destiny?

Inspiration from a gentle tough guy.
Victor  Villaseñor
Victor Villaseñor More by this author
Oct 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM

My name is Joaquin, I’m 16 years old, and the year is 2007. My mother, Mireya, is a Mexican Indian from the town of Creel up high in the mountains of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. My dad is a white guy, born in Kansas City, Missouri; and raised in Los Gatos, California. My dad is a minister. At 17 years old, back in the early ’60s, he became the youngest minister ever licensed in California....

My dad tells me that he knew Jerry Garcia back in the early days in San Francisco and that he knew Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, plus a bunch of other musicians before they became famous. He rode his Honda 300 everywhere and carried a guitar. He had two coffeehouses where he did his work: one was in San Francisco in a large basement right off the corner of Haight and Ashbury in the heart of the hippie section of town; and his other coffeehouse was right next to the old theater in Willow Glen, right outside of San Jose, and also in a basement because of the cheap rent. He sang and played his guitar at each place, but mostly he served free coffee and day-old doughnuts and hot soup, giving young people a place to hang out and feel safe. The word quickly spread about a crazy young motorcycle-driving minister who didn’t beat you up with the Bible, but instead offered words of kindness, hot soup, and a free place to hang out.

Joan Baez invited my dad down to Carmel, and he told me that he met a tall, skinny actor who’d just lost his job in a Western on TV and was worried about the new job he’d been offered to go to Italy to make Westerns. My dad said that his only bad habit, even back then, was that he smoked cigars, like his dad had done and his grandfather had also done. They were very inexpensive long, slender, square-looking cigars made by the Amish people with tobacco that was grown completely naturally. He offered one of his long, slender cigars to the worried young actor, and they went outside to smoke.

The actor asked my dad what he did, and my dad told him that he was a minister, but he didn’t just do his work at a church. He also ran two coffeehouses, one in San Francisco and another in San Jose, so he could take the word of Jesus to the young kids in the street. He explained to the young actor that this was also how he’d personally overcome all of his haunting doubts and fears—by doing service and putting his trust in the hands of something larger than himself.

The tall young actor asked my dad if he believed in destiny. My dad said yes, of course; then he told him the story of how a mountain lion had led him home through a snowstorm in Los Gatos, California, when he was 11 years old. He explained to the actor that even to this day he could still see that lion’s eyes inside his mind. They’d been so calm and indifferent that he’d had no fear of the great cat, and so this was how he now chose to live his life, fearlessly, and with a calm indifference to life or death.

My dad tells me the tall young actor was so impressed with the lion story that they visited for hours, and then a year later, just before my dad left the U.S. to go to Mexico on a six-month sabbatical from his church, he saw a movie that all the young people were raving about, calling it a “spaghetti Western.” And there was that tall, skinny young actor on the 20-foot screen: his name was Clint Eastwood; and he was smoking a long, slender, square-looking cigar and wearing a poncho, just like he’d seen my dad wear, and his eyes looked just like the eyes of the mountain lion that my dad had seen that day in the snowstorm—fearless, completely calm, and indifferent to life or death.

I’ll tell you, it’s hard being 16 and having a dad who’s lived through so much, met so many people, and always seemed to be so brave and have all the right answers, and then on top of that, finding out he’s the man Clint Eastwood learned to portray in his Westerns. What am I going to do? Heck if I know. But well, maybe I’ll find my own way.

About Author
Victor  Villaseñor
Victor Villaseñor is the author of the national bestsellers Rain of Gold, Thirteen Senses, and Burro Genius, the latter nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; as well as other critically acclaimed books, such as Wild Steps of Heaven and M Continue reading