'Topp' Dog Forced to Take a Backseat
By Rob Hull
The 700 Club
“I was the number one type-A personality on the planet,” says Stuart Topp. “I never slowed down, I talked a hundred miles an hour, it was a life of just never stopping, never having any reflection of any kind. Just going and doing everything as hard as you possibly could.”
As a general contractor, Stuart prides himself on keeping busy.
“Most men are defined by what they do, and I figured if I could do more than anybody else maybe I could be the top dog on the heap,” says Stuart. “I Just started working seven days a week…and worked 15, 16 hours a day every day…and just work, work, work and try and make money and do better and do better. The price I paid for being a workaholic was no peace at all just work, that’s all I did, that’s all I lived for.”
But the work came to a sudden end when his van slid off the side of a cliff, leaving Stuart in pain and immobilized.
“All I remember is just total pain,” says Stuart. “I had a punctured lung, collapsed lungs, over 200 stitches. I was developing pneumonia because of having to lay on my back, I was on morphine heavily and so if I closed my eyes the whole building just swayed and I had to keep my eyes open for four days I didn’t sleep. I wanted to die, I didn’t have any fight left in me.”
For three weeks Stuart recovered in the hospital. As he flipped through TV channels he came across a program he’d never seen before.
“I started watching the 700 Club,” recalls Stuart. “I think it’s on three times a day on Maui and I would watch it at least twice a day if I were awake. I liked it cause he shot it straightforward he just hit me right where I lived. Every single thing that I’d done wrong he’d hit.”
Stuart examined his hectic life and then, right there in his hospital room, he prayed with Pat Robertson and gave his life to Jesus.
“And he just made it real clear,” remembers Stuart. “It was simple to just come to the Lord, Bam there it was and I gave my heart to the lord that day and I just closed my eyes and I said it word for word with him, I just felt like I had all of this peace that just washed over me and I still have it.”
When he left the hospital, Stuart started going to church with his girlfriend, Michele, who was a Christian.
“I walk in and I just start crying,” says Stuart. “The lord just comes in and just makes me weep. I go to church on Sundays and I start singing and I start weeping. It’s an amazing feeling and he’s just given me all the things I didn’t have.”
Stuart is still a hard worker and he keeps a full schedule, but it’s no longer the pace that defines his life, it’s the peace.
“Now that I have found this peace,” says Stuart. “I’m getting more done with less energy higher quality and a lot less stress. It the last few years the work I’ve done is so much better than what I did before because I have peace. I can see it. I can see the project finished before I ever start it and I don’t make the pitfalls and the running around and the acting like a crazy person because I don’t have it together. Now I feel that I really have it together that it just works.”
Stuart and Michele married and he was recently baptized in the ocean near his home in Maui.
“If I have peace I can deal with anything,” says Stuart. “It’s just wonderful, it is a good feeling, everybody has problems everyday but nothing is insurmountable anymore. The difference is the Lord is at the top now and all I have to do is follow him, follow what he tells me to do and my life is good, it just is smooth, it works really well and I don’t want to go back the other way that’s for sure.”
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