Businessman releases book on finding peaceWritten by David Yonke Editor, ToledoFAVS.com | | David.Yonke@ReligionNews.com
Jim Lange, whose new book “Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in This Chaotic World,” was published Dec. 12, doesn’t seem like the sort of person who would be hampered by fear.
After all, Lange towers over most mortals with his six-foot, 10-inch frame.
After playing basketball from 1981-85 at the University of Toledo, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer systems, he got off to a fast start in the corporate world. He is founder and president of a company called Five Feet Twenty, reflecting his height, and is also chapter president of Toledo’s Truth@Work business roundtable.
But fear has been a factor most of his life, he said.
“When I was pretty young, I lived a life full of worry. I worried about everything. You name it and I worried about it,” he said. “My mom had a saying, ‘It’s an NTW, Jimmy – not to worry.’ She’d say that to me all the time.”
Growing up, Lange set his sights on earning a lot of money with the belief that it was the secret to peace and security. But after pouring himself into the business world, he was miserable despite the high-paying job.
He and his wife, Connie, started attending church when their children were young and became active in their church community. But even being involved in church didn’t bring him any peace, he said.
It wasn’t until church friends started talking about the “Left Behind” novels, the best-selling 1990s series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye about the end of the world, that Lange began looking deeper into the Bible and spirituality.
“The main character, Rayford Steele, finds that his wife and son are gone, their pajamas are in their bed, and they vanished just like millions of other people around the world,” Lange said.
“He goes down to the church and the associate pastor tells him that Jesus has ‘raptured’ his church. And Rayford says, ‘Why are you still here?’ And he tells him, ‘I have been going through the motions. I never asked Jesus into my life.’”
Lange said the pastor’s plight shook him up.
“That was me,” he said. “I prayed to accept Christ, but I never told anyone because I was too embarrassed. I had been going to church for so long, but I had never accepted Jesus. My wife did the same thing years later and it’s been an amazing change in our lives.”
Today, Lange quotes the Bible freely from memory and is always seeking God’s guidance in his life.
He said God told him to write his first book, “Bleedership: Biblical First-Aid for Leaders,” published in 2006. And he felt God also told him to write “Calming the Storm Within.”
He said he knows when God talks to him, not with an audible voice but through the Holy Spirit and spiritual signs.
“Sometimes God will talk to me through Scripture. A Scripture will just stick out like crazy when I’m reading the Bible. Then I’ll get in the car and verse of the day on the radio will be that same verse. Then on Sunday the pastor will preach on the same verse. I kid you not. It becomes clear that God was pointing that verse out to me,” Lange said.
Following God’s lead doesn’t always mean that things will fall smoothly into place, with no stress or struggle, Lange added.
“When he told me to leave a leadership job and a very high-paying job, I went on a seven-year financial desert. On the one hand that doesn’t seem like good advice, but I know that God was teaching me an important lesson: that my security was not in money, it was in him.”
During those seven lean years, Lange said he was constantly questioning if he had truly heard God’s voice and made the right choice.
“I questioned myself, I questioned my sanity, I questioned everything,” he said. “But it really drew me closer to him. Now I feel like the most blessed person on the planet. And it wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t listen to him when he told me to leave that job.”
The new book has been a 2-and-a-half-year project.
“The basic premise is that chaos is unavoidable in our life. Jesus said that in this life we will have trouble. That’s a promise,” Lange said. “The ultimate thing is that you can find some semblance of peace in many different areas, but the only time you’re going to find true and lasting peace is in Jesus.”
David Yonke is the editor and community manager of Toledo Faith & Values (ToledoFAVS.com), a website that provides in-depth, nonsectarian news coverage of religion, faith and spirituality in the Toledo area.