The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Making Money but Wanting More

By Shannon Woodland
The 700 Club Grant moved to Toronto, Canada with one goal in mind – climb to the top of the commercial real estate world.

“I wanted to be a multi-millionaire having my own empire,” said Norm, “and this was one of the best ways I could see to do that.”

By his late 20s Norm was one of the top producers in the industry.  While success brought him the wealth, lifestyle and status he wanted, it filled a deeper need.

“And that feeds the ego for sure. You start to be able to think that you're something,” said Norm.

In 1990, he married Deb and later they started a family. Meanwhile Norm kept reaching higher, meeting one sales goal after another. 

“It's the constant ‘on-the-wheel, what's next?’” Norm recalled.  “Trying to climb that next rung of the ladder. I remember asking my boss, after having my best year ever, I'm saying to him, ‘Okay, so now what?’" 

There seemed to be no limit to how far he could go, until he earned the biggest commission check in his career.

“I'll never forget that day of walking across to deposit that check, thinking that ‘This is it. I'm more important than I was the day before.’"

But Norm wasn’t feeling on top of the world.

“I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride, like the elevator drop, when you go from the top floor down,” said Norm. “It was disconcerting, challenging, scary.  ‘Cause everything that I had bought into and believed to be true, had that been truthful, I shouldn't be feeling this way.”

For the first time, the big paycheck, the accolades – had a hollow ring.

“There's a restlessness that starts. At least for me there was a restlessness that really started me to try to ask questions about ‘why’?  Like ‘why, I've got all this stuff, why am I feeling the way I'm feeling?’”

Norm turned to self-help books, but found no answers. It was around this time that Deb gave her life to Christ.   She started taking their kids to church, but Norm golfed on Sunday and refused to give God much thought.

“Whatever she wanted to do, that was fine,” said Norm. “That’s ‘good for you, honey, but I'm not going to follow along on that.’” 

Until daughter Christina started asking questions about God.  Norm wanted to give her the right answers.

“The challenge with our daughter asking questions about God really was ‘what if?’"  And so I decided that I was going to go at that exploring Christianity to say ‘yes or no.’" 

Norm studied books defending the Christian faith, looking for reasons not to believe.

While driving to a business meeting in October of 2002, Norm was listening to a teaching by Christian apologist Lee Strobel.

“So there's like this dynamic, this friction that goes on with listening to the tape,” said Norm. “And so I'm interested, but I'm stubborn and saying, ‘Well, whatever it is that you're going to say, I'm not going to agree to it anyways.’ And so I'm countering everything that is being talked about.”

As Norm argued with the recording, he heard a third voice in the car.

“I don't even know what the point was but the voice comes in and says ‘Why are you running?’" 

Norm believes it was God speaking to him.

“I truly felt that this was something I couldn't escape,” said Norm.  “I had to really make a decision because this was very significant and I had to answer the question.  And so I answered it.  I said, ‘I'm afraid.  I'm afraid that if I follow you and surrender my life that the things that I've come to rely on in the world I'm going to have to give up.  And that I'm going to fall short of your expectation.’”

That experience took away all doubt.

“But this most amazing feeling has come over me that there is truth; He's it,” said Norm.  “I committed my life in that night and said, ‘Okay, if you're Lord and Savior I'll take you this day as my Lord and Savior.  Come into my life, forgive me of my past, all of my past, but from this day forward I'll believe that you are the true, the only true way and you have my heart and my life. Take it.’”

For a while Norm stepped away from real estate to reevaluate his life, and pursue his relationship with God.  When he returned, he had a new perspective, and understanding that his true worth comes from God.

“I'm not worried about what the world says I need to get.  I'm not worried about the name brand on the clothes or the cars or the suits,” said Norm. “It's like the scripture says, ‘the passions of the worldly and the world itself will fade but those who are righteous and in right standing will be the ones that will last for an eternity with Christ.’”

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