About a year and a half ago, I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life. I had it all figured out. I was ready. I was all in. I was going to go at it. I'm ready to go. I finally figured this thing out. I'm ready to go full force. I'm about to take off and I go in. I failed.
Houston. We have a problem, though. Houston. Houston, we're still in Houston.
If I failed, I failed. And it completely changed my perspective of my relationship with God and who I am.
I really think that this perspective that I that I learned in this process that if you can just bear with me, stay with me till the end, I promise it will be worth it.
It completely change my perspective, I think potentially could
change yours, too.
Before I go there. Do I should take you back. Take you back to when I was a kid. When I was a kid. Little kid.
I grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and I was always a performer ever since I was a kid. Like, even in the third grade, I remember my my answering machine.
My mom remember she's here, too. She's probably thinking like this. It's true. You know, she's like on the answering machine was you have reached 3857803. We're not home right now, as you can see. So leave a message at the tone and we'll get back to you on our telephone piece. That was my answering machine.
But I was always performing. I always did. And high school was the same thing. I was always involved in like performance and all of that. I did soccer, all that kind of stuff. I just didn't really have a care in the world. Everything was great. Life was good. When my mission came home from a mission, learned Portuguese, everything was good. Got into college when I was in college, same thing. I just. I just loved to just. I just anything any time, any time. Like an opportunity came up. I just I just would take it.
I remember one time I was actually sitting down well before I went to an event, my friend, he said, Hey, Steven, there's this event on campus. It's an open mic. It's a comedy show. It's an open mic show. You should go. So I said, Sure, cool. That's, that'd be really cool. And so what they did is they had open mic night. People would come in and they would do 3 minutes of comedy.
I was like, That's pretty cool. I'll watch. So I went, I was there a little bit late , so I came in, in the back.
Everything was dark. I sneak in, I come in and I sit down and all of a sudden I see on the stage the guy is on the mic already and he's like, Hey, that was the last comedian if if anybody else wants to get up.
Go ahead and come up. And I wasn't planning on getting up. I had never done comedy in my life, but I'd always kind of told jokes to my friends and stuff like that and told stories and stuff. And so I just sat there and I was like.
I'm going to tell some jokes, then I'm going to get up.
That's why I went and I told them just random the 3 minutes. But I love to entertain. So I always did it. I remember they had they had an audition for the mascot. I went out and I was like, You know what? I'll just go out and I'll just do it. So I did it. I was the mascot.
I loved it. And I just would always I felt like it was just me.
I started doing stand up comedy. I can't even tell you when I would be on a stage. It would just feel like I was just me.
Like it was like I was a, they say a fish and water man. I felt like I was a fish just doing the backstroke. I don't know if you've even seen a fish.
Not that I felt that I was amazing at it, but it just. It just felt. Comfortable to me.
And so at the end of college, right, the last day of school, this is the last day of school. Literally the very last. Day of college. I took I took biology 100 is the very first one auditorium like this size 350 people in this place.
All these people come. We had to be there for the last day because we had to take a test. So we all get there. Everybody's in there and I'm walking past and I'm like, getting there right as the bell rings and I'm like, Oh, shoot, there was this one empty seat. I'm like, Oh, and there's this cute. Girl there too. I like, literally pass by. I said, Hey, wait me, sit down.
I find out later the girl ended up becoming my wife. She actually saved her seat, hoping that I would sit by her.
And I did. And the rest is history.
And so we we went through the whole, you know, the whole spiel. We got married. And then so when you get married, you're like, Yeah, well, let's get married. Yeah, we want to get married. You get married. You're like, Well, let's have some kids. I'm like, Yeah, let's have some kids. And you're like, Whoa!
Yeah. Let's do that. You know, and and this whole time, I'm still kind of just doing my thing. I really didn't even I had a I didn't have a job, job.
I was just doing comedy. I was doing entertainment. I was doing acting.
It sounds like, man.
Track is something that's consistent.
All the all the all the people like you probably should. They're like, Yeah, yeah, of course. And so that's how I thought. I was like, I got to get a job.
And it's funny because there was a job I had just done.
I just entertained for a company. I just entertained form at a at a at a corporate event.
I was like, I'll just I'll just say audition.
I'll but it feels like it sometimes. I was I was like, You know what? I'll just apply for that job. I'll get the job. You'll see how it goes. I get the job. Just get some. Health insurance, right? To get health insurance. Yeah.
Get a job for health insurance. Some people are looking at me like, yes, you. yes, you need it. Some of the people are like “health insurance, you know, health insurance.”
But I get the job. I remember the first day I went to work, first day I went to work. And so I wasn't really technical. It was a technology company. I get there the first day and this is not even like the first week. This is the first day of work. I get there, I'm like, Man, what?
But till this point, you don't just sit at a desk. You know what I mean? For 8 hours straight, people are looking at me like, What in the world? But I'm just saying, I've never had my life even in college. I had to sit there for 8 hours, just sitting there, just like a prison, just like bars were just in front of me. Like the I'm just like, seriously, I mean, this is what it felt like to me. And I get home and I remember I got home , didn't even kiss my wife. I just went past her. I went straight back to the room and I went on my bed. And seriously, honestly. I sat there and I cried. I cried straight out.
And I remember I sat there and I cried and I and I and I remember
I thought to myself, I was like, Man, Heavenly Father,
what in the world am I doing?
And I just sat there and I was like, I prayed. I said, Man, I just pray. I put Danny, my wife, as her name. I said, I pray.
I just wish she had just come in here and just give me a hug.
About a minute later, she comes in. I don't know. She's sensitive to the spirit. She comes right in and gives me a hug, gives me a kiss to a little, little bonus.
And I'm just, you know, it made it feel it made it feel a bit better,
you know? But I didn't give up, though, because I'm, you know, I'm like, I'm Stephen Jones. I'm not going to quit this job. And I stayed with the job. Everything started getting better. I started making decent money. I started making you know, things started working out. But I still felt like I was in prison.
I still did comedy and entertainment on the side.
And so just to make a long story short and four years, I had four different jobs. Just bounce the bounce. The bounce, not the field. Okay, let's try it. This. Okay. No. Change it up. Okay, let me try it again.
No, that's not working. Okay, let me try it again. Trying to figure out who am I? Who's Stephen Jones? Who am I? What am I doing, man? I'm not the man. I'm a comedian, man. I'm an entertainer, man. What am I doing sitting behind a desk, man? I belong in behind a desk.
And so, you know, I finally get to this point, my last sales job, I get to this point where I'm just like, you know what?
I remember the day I was like, Man, I got to figure this out. I got to. Figure this out. A friend of mine actually sent me this video from Steve Harvey. It was really cool. He said in this video, the day I'm talking, I was low, man. I was low.
He randomly calls me, he randomly calls me. I was at work at my desk and I'm like, you know,
I don't know if you can relate. I'm just sitting at my desk.
I'm like like I'm just having this, like , an anxiety attack. Nothing's even going on. I'm like, I just got to get out. I just took a walk, right? And he's like, Hey, man, you need to check out this video. Steve Harvey says this. He goes, There's the difference between your gift and your talent.
He said, talents and gifts are. Different, right?
So your gift is different. He said, people think he's a comedian. He goes, People think that. My my gift is that I'm that I'm funny.
My talent is that I'm funny. My gift is that I can take information, I can recode it and I can make you laugh. I can take information, I can recode it. I can inspire you. I can take information, I can recode it. I can motivate you. And I was like, man, that's I. Love. That's kind of how I am, right? I love to just. That's kind of back.
That's me. And so I just you know what? I just I thought about. This for a long time, and I was like, man, what am I going to do?
What am I doing my life?
And I came to this conclusion.
And I came up with a question, honestly, a question that I've been able to use that that I can fall back on any time I have any kind of any kind of thing. And the question that I ask myself now is,
will this matter in a thousand years?
If it don't matter in a thousand years, I don't want to do it.
If it's a project, if it's anything that I'm even even the small stuff on the day to day, I'm talking about the day to day. If I'm like, I remember just the other day, I put the phrase on my on my screen, on my computer. Right. And I remember my my wife and I, we were all, like frustrated with each other. And I came in the room. I was like, man, you know, you know how it is if you're married.
I'm like, okay. And I walk in the room and on the screen, Will it matter? In a thousand years?
I'm like. No.
I'm sorry. I was just.
I was tripping. I was tripping.
But if it doesn't matter in a thousand years, I don't want to do it. I don't want to care about it. I don't want to worry about it.
If it didn't matter in a thousand years, it doesn't matter to me.
And so I was like, okay. So I kind of changed it up. I started running into a lot of religion teachers and I was like, Man.
Man, I want to teach man. It's like teaching is like it's like being on a stage. I love it. I can use my gift. It doesn't matter. I only have to be funny. I can still use humor, I can still teach, I can still put an influence on some other people. So I was like, okay, I'm going to teach.
So there's this program and I honestly, it's really hard to get into.
It's kind of complete. It's kind of long. So I went in, I went for it, I went in the program and I start going for it while I'm still working. I'm still working at this time. Still working, still trying to be a teacher. I'm trying to do this stuff, being a teacher. And I remember the first day that I taught oh my gosh. The first day that I taught. Oh, my goodness. I was like, hey, I was like, this, I love this, I love this. I was like, man, I got to do this. So I was like, okay, I'm going to I'm going to do it. So then one day, one day, I was praying. I was praying. I was. Like, Hey, Father, what should I do, man ? This stuff is just getting heavy. I don't know where I'm going to go. I don't know how I'm going to do this. It's just a lot of time. I spend all these hours and then I all of a sudden I was like, You know what? I'm just going to I don't know if I should go for it. And I'm like, I'm just going to act. I'm just going to act. And I was like, Hold up. I'll quit my job. I won't quit my job. I'm just going to act. I'll act. And the gigs that I get there, I can just do a few gigs and make decent money and then I can just focus on. Teaching and just focus on teaching and then I’ll just act.
Literally, it wasn't even the words what I meant, but you know what I'm saying? I was like, That's it, I'm going to act. So then I went, I went in the next I want to say just the next couple of days I went into my work and I was like, Hey.
I want to quit. Like, want you to quit? Yeah, I'm gonna quit.
What are you going to do? Matt.
But I'm going to teach. I'm going to be a teacher. That's what I'm going to do. I'm in this program. I'm going to be a teacher. So I went all in. I quit my job, went all in. I made as much money or even more than I had ever made when I was just when I was just doing my thing, doing sales, I did that whole time. Right. And so I'm teaching, I'm loving it. I'm teaching, I'm loving it. Things are going really well.
April's when they hire, April's, when they make the decision, I'm thinking things are going well. I get up to the point, I come, I'm ready to go.
They're like, Hey, we're going to send you an email.
When you get the email, you'll know if you're going to be hired or not. So I'm ready. I'm like, okay, if I don't get hired, okay, this, you. Know, I'm just going to, you know, have you kind of psych up yourself like that if I don't get hired, whatever. You know, I’m just I’ll just do whatever. I’ll just keep acting. That’s what I’m going to. Do, you know, because, you know. But if I do get it, man, I'm gonna love it because it's gonna matter in a thousand years, right? So I get there and I go and I'm like, Okay, I open up the email, I open up the email . I'm like, Okay, here we go. Open up the email. I open it up and it says.
We regret to inform you.
Blah, blah, blah.
If you're in H.R. . If you say we regret to inform you just period.
You don't read the rest.
We don't read the rest those three paragraphs. It's a waste. We regret.
That's it. That's all we need to know. I'm like. Okay, then. All right.
When and where am I going to do? I quit my job, man.
I quit my job. I got two kids. And I thought this was going to happen.
I got an email, so I'm like, Okay, that's all good, that's all good, you.
Know, thing, it's all good. I'm good. That was the first day. Next day I was like, What in the world? What do they think? What I'm just saying, like, what, man? I ran into somebody else that was in the program. What happened, man?
Yeah, I got hired. I'm like, Oh, you did . You did. Okay, all right. Okay.
So what you're doing then? Okay. Yeah, that's cool. That's cool. Yeah.
No, good. Have a good time. I bet that's no matter a thousand years that it's been good,
that's going to be great. It's. It'd great. Appreciate it. Appreciate it. Yeah.
A week later, they come up to me. He said, Hey, can I come to your class?
I said, okay. So I'm still teaching, even though I know I'm not going to teach. It's like, Wow, this really feels great, you know? But it was good. I love to teach, though. I loved it. I still loved it. Still loved it.
And so he comes to my class and he's one of the people.
They basically have a teacher who's like a trainer. And he comes up and he's like, Hey, I know some bad news to here. I wanted to see if you'd still be willing to student teach. Maybe something would come open.
I said, sure. But then I thought about it. I was like, Man. But he's still so heavy to weigh these two things. I'm weighing both of these things. How am I going to juggle all this stuff?
I'm talking to my wife. She's like, Yeah , we're going to juggle this.
We got to you know, I'm not saying it's logical. We got to have I've got to provide for my family. Right.
And so you know what I say. I don't know what I'm going to do. So I said, you know what I'm going to do? I'm just going to act.
But this way a little bit different. I said, You know what? I'm just going to say no if I say no. If I say no, that's continued.
Student teach. I'll know, right? I'll know how I feel. I'll just have to do something and maybe you won't feel right and then maybe I'll change my mind or something. So I'll go at it. And I was like.
I can't. I've got to provide for my family. I got to put that first.
And he's like, I understand.
Last day of class, I was like, Oh my gosh, man, I got to keep teaching.
I was like I got to keep teaching. So I go back to I’m like, Hey, man, I want to keep teaching. And he's like, That's funny you say that.
There actually was an opening that just happened up in in another high school.
So if you want to keep students teaching , you can I was like, yep. All right. So I went and continue to teach. Long story short, we get to the point where I'm teaching. I'm getting ready for this year. I'm getting ready for the year.
All of a sudden, I know where I get a call.
I get a call like, Hey, Steven,
I want to meet with you so-and-so from the from the directors of all the teachers that want to give you a call, wants you to be with your wife. I'm like, Oh, shoot, this is going to happen. I think this is it. So they call me and I'm like, okay, well ,
my wife and they're we're sitting there, we're sitting there and I'm like, okay, we’re ready. We’re ready. Okay. And he’s like, Yeah, Steven, we want to know if you'd be willing to move your family to Arizona.
And we're like,
But we're like, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. So we got the phone. He's like, Look, I understand that it's kind of out of nowhere and it is
a big, big choice. So let's think about it. Tell us in the weekend, write back more. I thought about the more I didn't feel right, just didn't feel right. I don't know why, but it didn't feel right. Didn't feel right. So I go and I'm like, okay. I went to him. I called him on the phone and I was like.
You know. I regret to inform you. I'm just playing.
I didn't say that. I didn't say that. I didn't say that.
I was I was I was very grateful for the opportunity. But I've got to do what's best for my family. It just didn't feel right. It just didn't feel right. And so I.
I basically just it was crazy, but I was. Like, no. They're like. Well.
We understand you can still student teach. I said, For real. They say, Yeah, you can still tune in. Teach. Okay. Okay.
So I'm still back in it. So I'm still student teaching. They're like, Well, we don't know what the competition's going to be like. The earliest you could probably get hired would probably be like the next round. April I'm like, That's fine, whatever. I love to teach. I'm going to teach. So I'm sitting there getting ready to teach.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, two months later, I'm just sitting at my computer. I remember it was 613. I get a phone call. A phone call comes in. Bing, bing, bing.
I actually was like, you know how it is now, anyway. So I pick it up.
I know it was I didn't save the number. Right. And I'm like, Hey, hey, Steven, this is so-and-so director. Da da da da da.
I want to see if you'd be willing to take an offer here in Utah.
And actually it starts like right now. You want to take it right now?
Yes, I so I took it. I took the job. I was like, oh, my gosh. I remember the next day I was like, Yes. I trust. You. I trust you. I trust you.
At that point, I mean, we I failed to even say this, but it was hard. It was crazy. And those two months, man, we were like all of a sudden,
since I said no to Arizona, I was like, Gigs just stopped. They just stopped. They stopped. I was like, Man, I really got to the point where I was like, I don't even know. I don't.
First time in my life, I'm like, I don't know. How are we going to do this, man?
Usually I forget to pay the rent because I just forget to pay the rent. This time I'm like, I don't know if we're going to be able to pay the rent. I'm serious. And so I it just came right at the it just came at the perfect, perfect time. Perfect time. And so I knew I really knew that that God knew, knew me, really knew me. It made me stretch. He he made me wait on it.
He made me wait on it, you know, made me wait on it.
And so now I teach, literally. I've been only teaching for like the last four weeks and the first week that I taught.
One of the lessons that we talked about is just religion at a high school. And one of the lessons we talked about how to receive spiritual knowledge, how to acquire spiritual knowledge,
talked about how if you really want to sincerely know, you can ask, ask and knock and it will be open up to you. But he can speak to us. If he speaks to us in our mind and in our hearts, he can let us know that it's true. And God is the source of all truth. If you want to know something that's true, you can ask him.
And so one of the kids, after the end of the class, he comes to me and he's like, Hey, Brother Jones, that's what they call me, say Brother Jones.
I know this is pretty basic.
How can I know if Jesus is who He says that He is?
How can I know that he is who he says that he is?
I said, Well, what are we talking about? He said.
I said, Well, you you can ask him.
He said, Yeah, I remember we talked about that. I said, Well, do you really want to know? He said, Yeah, I really want to know. I said, Well, how were you going to know if he's talking to you?
Said, Well, I said, Well, how does he talk to you now?
He said, Well, usually when I feel like he's. Talking to me, I feel like, you know, a certain kind of way. And he's explained it to me. I said, Okay, that's your baseline, man. That's your baseline. I said, Well, if you if you haven't asked him, you got to ask God. Ask them. And so I said, Oh, you said, okay. And say, Hey, man, if whatever you find out, man, I'd love to know how it goes. I'm not saying like, Hey, go home this week.
I wasn't like that. I was like, whenever you figure this out, man, I'd love to hear about it. And he said, Okay.
So about two weeks ago, he comes up to me after class and. He's like, Hey, I wanted to ask you something.
I want to tell you, Brother Jones, this weekend of the break, I. I was up. We went up in a cabin and I went up and I took the four wheeler up on this island and I went off by myself. Nobody's really goes. Up in that direction. I went up in by myself and I took the four wheeler up. I parked it, put it to the side. I sat down and put it to the side. And I got down on my knees.
I prayed to God. And asked him about his son. He said.
He answered me. He answered me.
And that's going to matter in a thousand years, people.
I was like, man, I love my job in. I'm like, I love my job. Listen, I just.
This is just one person. This is one man. I'm just one man. I know there's somebody out there. And I thought. About this talk forever. You ask my wife. And I was like, Man, I don't know. Why I'm doing this. I don't know why they're calling me. They literally actually called me the. Week that I quit my job about this thing.
I know it's God's hand in my life. I know that.
And hopefully there's somebody out there. I don't know. Whatever you are worried about, there's probably somebody out there. I'm talking to you directly right now if you're trying to keep a job. Just. Just for health insurance. But, you know, you should be doing something else because you really know deep down inside that whatever that thing is that you're trying to do, you hadn't done it yet.
Because you want health insurance.
Figure it out, how you're going to whatever it is that you've got to do.
You're worried about some little petty stuff. Forget about it, man. It is not going to matter in a thousand years.
So before I go, I just I honestly, honestly, all of us, all of us here,
wherever in the world, to whatever it is . I just had this one question.
I got two questions. What are you worrying about right now?
What are you worried about right now?
That ain't going to matter in a thousand years. And the last question is, what are you going to do?
What are you going to do? That's going to matter in a thousand years.