One of the first thoughts of God I remember having as a child was one of ridicule.
“How on earth can people not believe in God? It’s so obvious that there is a God, when a man and a woman get married; God sends them a baby! Where else could a baby come from but from God!?”
I was later corrected on my somewhat naïve logic, but my theories on God didn’t stop there. A few years later, I found myself saying and thinking things like:
“How can we be sure there really is a God?”
“I really do hope there isn’t an after-life, because then we could actually enjoy our time here on earth, instead of having to follow a set of rules and regulations.”
My parents always encouraged such honesty, and my Father was used to answering such questions as he was the pastor of the church I had been taken along to since I was a baby.
As life went on I found that if things were going well in my life, I would only give God the odd thought or two; however if things weren’t going too great I would find myself turning to God and praying to him often.
I decided that if I was going to be part of this Christian thing I should ask for forgiveness for my sins, that’s what I’d heard was the right thing to do. I did that, or at least I tried, but there was no light from above and no change of feeling inside. This was not as romantic as it had been made out to be.
Going on in my early teens I found myself more and more drawn towards the world’s way of thinking. People in school seemed to find me funny and as puberty wore on, my hormones were pulling me in all sorts of directions. I was never a naughty boy in school, but I couldn’t say that I wouldn’t get in trouble on a daily basis from various teachers.
I was having a great time, Sundays were a drag but it was something that I didn’t want to let go of. I felt that I wanted to have a foot on each side of the fence. Have a great time in the ‘real’ world, and have a bit of time to think about spiritual things.
My answer was always the same if someone asked me whether I was a Christian, “I’m not sure”. I don’t think I was lying when I said that, I really wasn’t sure, I had asked God to forgive my sins but I wasn’t living as a Christian; and looking back – I wasn’t a Christian.
Summer 2004, I was 14 years old. I had been booked to go along to a Christian camp in Wales, under canvas and all that. It seems that God really does bless such ocassions, and he did so on that week. I suppose it was partly due to me having many examples from older Christians, as well as being out of the context of ‘a church’ and also having a real focus on God’s word. I know that people were praying for me, and God spoke to me throughout that week. I was really persuaded that to ask God for a new life was the right thing.
Looking back on my story, in a way I wish it was different; more romantic. I think to myself,
It would sound better if I wasn’t brought up in a Christian environment, or if I had gone off the rails a bit more, taken drugs, gone to prison – it’s those conversions that are truly miraculous.
But that isn’t true. I was a lost soul. I was heading for destruction. I had no hope.
God saved me. God helped me, and he continues to do so to this day. Through Jesus my sins are forgiven, that is a miracle!