Genesis of ‘The Benevolent Merger’

by Rick Stecker

(This post first appeared on Substack as Genesis of ‘The Benevolent Merger’ – Subscribe here)

The sands speak to the seas and ask, “Why have you not come? What keeps you from arriving? I have long awaited your justification.”

For me, it all started in San Francisco, on a cable car. Well, not exactly San Francisco, but in Alameda, just across the San Francisco Bay where seven major currents flow under the Golden Gate bridge.

And it wasn’t really on a cable car, although I had ridden them. In truth, it was aboard a ship docked at Naval Air Station Alameda, where they once kept the ‘nooclear wessels’ (apologies to Walter Koenig). But it wasn’t on one of those either. It was in fact aboard an older, conventional aircraft carrier.

I was stationed aboard her, nearing the end of my Naval enlistment. For three years that ship had been home, in both calm seas and rough ones. She had even endured typhoons that could rock and ruin the biggest of ships. Yet at that time I also was enduring some personal storms and searching for answers.

But one day I found a book aboard that ship (it had its own library), a short book that told the story of a modern, well-to-do California family. There had been an upsurge in those years, a strong current of Divine Presence washing over those seeking change, and this family had been swept up in its outflow.

They saw their lives change radically, as in the Days of Pentecost. In the conclusion of that book, the family found themselves as carriers of a new message, waiting for clearance to enter Communist China to deliver a revelatory Word to an ancient people group.

I was amazed by their story, and when I finished reading that book, I thought I saw a way. Their experience was one that I had heard about my whole life, in church through ancient readings. I was intrigued to have uncovered its present-day equivalent. Secretly, I had longed for its expression in my own life.

It would take a few more years before the reality of that story made its presence known more fully for me, but in those first few moments aboard that ship, sheltered in a famous bay, reading that book set the foundations for what I now call ‘The Benevolent Merger.’

And the sea replied, “I am coming according to the Promise.”

About the Author

Rick Stecker is a personal growth specialist, writer and speaker helping entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Rick's first job was as a reporter covering crime for a daily newspaper. Then came a stint on the high seas in Navy public relations aboard an aircraft carrier.

What followed was 25 years in corporate communications. Yet when a buyout forced a career change, Rick took his accumulated experience and built a consulting business, Grounds to Grow Coaching.

Rick authored his first book "Making Choices Like A Champion" to help others grow their capabilities. His second book, "The Chronicles of Mikey & Me" reflects on lessons learned out in the marsh with his first duck dog. In the works is Rick's next book, "The Benevolent Merger" aimed at helping those looking for personal growth to be victorious in their thinking. Rick's writings for the Internet can be found on Substack at ‘Rick Stecker’s Rising Tides’ ( Be sure to subscribe!

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