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A Guide to Love, God, Prayer, Meditation, & Peace Within You—Right Now

Forgiveness Overcomes Justice


Willow Lake, Near Mount MacLaughlin, Southern OregonIt’s true. I was working like a crazy man up until the day of my book launch for When God Spoke to Me on March 17. Since then, I’ve cut back my crazy hours and have gone back to a “normal” life. This past weekend, I took three days off and took myself camping. I went to a beautiful lake about one hour away located at the base of Mount McLaughlin in Southern Oregon. I spent those three days sleeping, meditating, contemplating, journaling, eating, sitting around the campfire, and hiking. On my first night, I slept 14 hours and meditated for three hours upon waking. Boy did I need that! I spent a lot of time meditating over those three days and sought a lot of guidance and communication from God on what was next in my life, how I should focus my time and attention from here on out, and so many other important questions for me. It was a fabulous weekend. I came back refreshed, rejuvenated, refocused, and very very peaceful. Today, I’d like to tell you a little story about something that happened while I was there.

Because it’s early spring and still fairly cool in Southern Oregon, there were very few campers at this particular campground. There was actually still snow on the road on my way there. The highs were in the 50s, and the nights were in the 30s. I arrived at the campground midday on Friday. Only one other couple showed up that day. We had the whole campground to ourselves.

The other couple set up their tent and camp site about 50 yards from me. The guy was probably in his early 30s. I will describe him as a pretty loud, testosterone filled guy. He had a big truck, a Doberman pinscher, and he was yelling at his dog quite a bit, ordering him around, keeping him well-behaved, throwing things to him, etc. I had a few slightly annoyed thoughts go through my head while meditating, but not many. I let them go pretty easily. I was just happy to be there and was enjoying my meditation.

Towards evening, I took a walk down the lake to see the snowcapped Mount MacLaughlin more clearly. This guy and his girlfriend (or perhaps wife, I don’t know) were not far behind me. We sat far apart and never got within talking distance. They ended up going back to their campground sooner than me and passed right through my camp on their way. When I returned to my campground, I noticed that my huge bag of trail mix was no longer in my food bag. I looked and looked for it, but I couldn’t find it. The only answer that made sense to me was that he took it on his way through my campsite.

Needless to say, I was a little perplexed and slightly shocked. When I asked what to do, I was guided to do nothing, to just let it go. That evening before going to bed, I meditated. I was in a really fantastic space, very calm and peaceful, and I ask the question, “How can people learn and grow in life without justice?” I didn’t feel angry at that man for taking my trail mix. I just really wanted to understand how people in life can learn and grow without being forced to take responsibility for their behavior. For example, it’s obvious that many people do learn profound life lessons by being forced to take responsibility for things, whether it’s someone being forced to go to jail for a crime they commit, or making one’s children take responsibility for mistakes or actions they me take, etc.

I knew in my heart there was an answer. I knew in my heart that people didn’t need to be punished, reprimanded, or forced to learn their life’s lessons, but I was still curious to hear what the Holy Spirit had to say about the topic. How is this man going to learn his lesson about stealing if no one ever approaches him or speaks to him about it, or if no one ever “encourages” him to take responsibility? Like I said, I knew it wasn’t necessary to do those things, but in the moment, I wanted God to talk to me about it (since I was sitting for hours in meditation having conversations about all kinds of things), so I decided to ask the question. Here’s where it gets good…

Once again, here’s the question I asked: “How can people learn and grow in life without justice?”

Right after I asked that question, the Holy Spirit immediately offered me a way to provide justice to my own mind. The justice that I was offered in that moment was one of forgiveness. I was immediately instructed to see that man as my savior, to see that without him, I would never have been inspired to ask my question and be reminded once again that forgiveness is always the answer. By forgiving him in that moment, which meant by seeing the blessing and gift that he truly was in my life, I was able to do justice to my own perceptions and immediately took a step in my own learning and growth in that moment. So the answer to my question was … people will learn and grow when they are ready to forgive. I was ready to learn and grow by choosing forgiveness instead of perceiving anything less than gratitude for that man. Indeed, it was one of many wonderful moments during meditation over the weekend. I felt extreme gratitude just for that man’s presence in my life, and I truly didn’t care what he may or may not have done.

Now here’s the thing … I knew from the very beginning that I had no idea whether he actually took my trail mix or not. I had no proof. But after I had truly extended forgiveness to myself for holding those thoughts about him, I really didn’t care if he took my trail mix or not, because the event, regardless of what actually happened, had proved to be such a blessing to me. But here’s the thing … the following day a clear thought came to me: I’m probably going to find my trail mix by the time I get home and laugh about this whole thing. I had no idea if I would actually find my trail mix, but I had this sneaking suspicion that I would somehow find it.

About an hour before I was to leave, I went down to the lake with my journal to write down a bunch of the communications I had received over the weekend as a reminder in case I forgot when I went home. After I finish journaling, I set my notebook down and looked up towards the lake. About 10 feet in front of me was my bag of trail mix! I had no recollection of taking my trail mix down to the water, but I do remember eating my lunch down there Friday afternoon, and I must’ve taken the bag of trail mix with me and left it there by mistake!

I just laughed and smiled. I truly loved how it all unfolded! The whole thing was a wonderful experience … and the bag of trail mix is now sitting right next to me as I write this little story of forgiveness. I’ve been chewing on it all week long. 🙂

Thanks for letting me share this story with you. 🙂 Many blessings to you!

With love and joy,

DavidPaul Doyle

P.S. I took a short video of the lake just to show my wife and daughter what it was like since they didn’t come with me. To watch the video, click the play button below.