I learned something new about my friend Dr. Jerry Clevenger when we were together over the weekend. He took a .380 hollow-point bullet to his chest. Predictably, it changed his life! Jerry was on the only path he knew to prosperity—climbing the corporate ladder while working for a major Wall Street investment bank. While taking pictures of a new acquisition in a not-so-nice area of town, he heard a loud bang and soon realized he was on the wrong end of a gang-initiation drive-by shooting.

A close look at these pictures (above and below) reveals the bullet hole through Jerry’s book, Paths to Prosperity.  On that impactful life-changing day, Jerry was standing — holding his leather-covered writing notepad portfolio with his published book in front of his chest (bottom left) when the shooting happened. The bullet carved its path through the front cover of the portfolio, the book, the yellow writing pad, and then exiting out through the back of the portfolio, through a rib and into his chest.

After being treated at the hospital, an ER nurse placed the extracted bullet fragments in a specimen jar and wrote “RO 12” on the outside, told him, “God has a purpose for you to be alive,” and then sent Jerry home. Later he discovered the meaning of the code on the souvenir jar and read Romans 12 in the Bible with his eyes and heart locked on phrases like, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…we have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us…use them diligently…never lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:3-11).

For the last several years, Jerry has discovered a whole new path to a different kind of prosperity. He has moved from success to significance. He coaches high-capacity leaders to leverage their time, talent and treasure for substantial and eternal purposes through the Halftime organization. Jerry is a part of a movement that guides marketplace leaders to transform first half success into second half significance on a journey of impact and adventure.

These are the kind of questions Jerry began asking himself when he had a rib-shattering encounter with a bullet:

What do I want to be remembered for?

What can I do with my life that excites me and could make a difference in people’s lives?

What gifts has God given me that I’m not currently using?

Which of my dreams have not been fulfilled?

 What gives life meaning?

You don’t need to encounter a .380 hollow-point to ask these questions. But I can guarantee, they will be life-changing and put you on a path to a fulfilling and prosperous life if you take the time to come up with your own authentic answers.

QUESTION: How are you doing in answering these questions? Share your comments below.

One response to Paths to Prosperity

  1. Rod Partington on November 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM Reply

    Amazing story! Thanks for sharing.Sure puts things into perspective.

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