Keeping our MINDS Open to the Unexpected

Life’s SLOW JOURNEY…Includes the Spectacular!

By Terry Larkin

Have you ever had something happen to you that defied explanation? There was a time in my life I would have simply said, I must have been DREAMING during the day. Today, I keep my mind wide open.


Who would have guessed that one of God’s creations, this tiny baby sloth with no voice at all would become so meaningful in my life! My spiritual self had been growing since 1982 but so VERY slowly. A spectacular happening in 1993 brought more light into my life quickly.

Static ClingThis particular small sloth became known as “Static Cling” back in 1993″, while I was leading a group of students into the Amazon Basin.*  We landed in Iquitos, Peru and were exploring the markets of that fascinating city.  I was working for an organization then known as CET or Children’s Environmental Trust. My first excursion there was in 1992 and I spent every summer until 2002 leading Student Workshops into the Amazon in Peru, Rainforests of Costa Rica and later into Kenya, Africa.

Terry with Sloth Slow Riverboat

I was still making sense out of my near-death experience in 1982. My experience into the light brought understandings that I needed to process. But, little did I realize that a pathway had been opened up to learn more through experiences. We were carrying this baby sloth back down into the Amazon because our group found him in a market ready to be sold either for food or as a pet.

  • I knew that a sloth was very slow and knew the habits through study and research. BUT, I had NO IDEA how slow they actually did move until I held one in my arms riding along a very unique open air boat down the amazon. He was reaching for a pole, probably the closest thing he had seen in awhile that resembled his home branch in a tree.  You will find the complete story in our book, The Light GAP: G~od’s A~mazing P~resence when it is released.
  • I was shocked. I sat there watching his movements. Slower than I had any idea. His SLOW movements were  just like my journey trying to understand God and his place in my life. TIME…I began to think about God and my suspension into the white light. Time had been so different there. In my head I was asking God to stop being so mysterious. I knew I came back to my earthly life for a reason…but what?
  • TIME had stood still again in 1993 while I was on this boat holding this sloth. People just froze while I pondered. To this day I’ve wondered if anyone noticed anything odd that day besides me.   Static Cling, saying nothing at all, and yet? I  stared into his eyes and somehow God moved in bringing  amazing peace, joy and more understanding to questions I had been asking. This is what I would later call a totally unexpected moment to hear from God.

Have you ever had an event in your life that you just couldn’t totally explain? It’s taken a lot of years for me to realize how significant this event was in my life and that it was ok for me to share with someone that it happened. I’ve now read countless unique stories. And I know they are real. But, I never told ANYONE this part of Static Cling’s story. Fear kept it inside of me.

Marj and I  would LOVE to hear some of your own significant stories that you’ve been  wondering about. For myself, I found a lot of peace and comfort once I took the fear away. There was no reason for me to fear God’s spectacular presence in my life! But, boy do I have a lot of years of experience in keeping fear inside me. I learned that fear is not good for my health for sure!

*The real life adventure of Static Cling and the students adventures into the Amazon in 1993 was captured in a fascinating book written by Susan E. Goodman with photographs my Michael Doolittle. It was originally called Bats, Bugs, and Biodiversity and it was published by Atheneum Books in 1995. It was later published as part of an adventure series as Adventures in the Amazonian Rain Forest.  I was leading the group that is featured in this book and had the total privilege of spending a week with Susan and Michael.


FieldTrip1 by Susan Gloodman


If you haven’t found Susan E. Goodman as an author for children’s books, you should do that! She had some WONDERFUL books!! Check them out at her website.








2 Comments on “Keeping our MINDS Open to the Unexpected

  1. What an endearing symbol a baby sloth is! I was once participating in a study of synchronicity and the first symbol that came up for me was a turtle. There were many others but that one has endured for over 20 years. For me then, as now, it means slowly and steadily I am being led to stay in the light; baby steps; patience with myself and my purpose in general. Also, that I need to come out of the safety of my shell if I want to face my challenges. This has been my enduring symbol because I have been a list-maker, using a stop-watch(!) to hurry through life and get to the next thing instead of trusting in divine guidance. God or the Holy Spirit or our inner voice, whichever you choose to call it, loves symbols and metaphors. We just need to notice them.

    • Thank you for your amazing words. The sloth has become “endearing” to me. You have expressed so elegantly some important thoughts that can help so many! I have a very realistic sloth puppet here on my writing desk to always remind me that while challenges always come our way, I can keep myself on that steady path to stay in light.

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