This may sound too simplistic but I think there are basically three kinds of people in this world; those who don’t know Jesus yet (or have rejected Him), those who have loved and followed Him since childhood, and those who after many years of self-inflicted pain and poor choices, decided they needed Jesus. Of these three I fall into the last category. Whether I was hard headed, hard hearted or some of both, I’m one of the people who remembers what life was like ‘before’.
People give different names to that defining moment of change …. from ‘before’ to transformed. It’s that a-ha moment when one recognizes there is a God, that we aren’t Him and we need Him so desperately. Born again, saved, surrendered, reconciled, redeemed, justified. Depending on the denomination, Christian language has a variety of dialects. It’s interesting really, considering my family of origin was Catholic, and their families before them were all Catholic. When God finally got my attention we were new attenders at a modern worship style evangelical church with guitars and drums and a very young preacher who wore jeans and plaid shirts. This was a first (and a shock to the system) at age 48, after having run away from any kind of religious influence since I was a kid.
I remember everything about my spiritual birth day. Looking back I can see all the events like stepping stones …. a pathway to that momentous decision. I remember where I was, the day of the week, who was there, my posture, how the carpet felt on my forearms and my private conversation with God.
A lot has happened in these 10 years since. Good and not so much. Change, challenge, learning, serving, tears, moving, success, death, failure, preparing, loss, joy and spiritual growth. Like with any relationship, you have to invest and give it your all, you have to honor and love and obey …. prioritizing the things of God. Now, 10 years in, my relationship with my lord is sweeter, more tangible, and oh so necessary to daily life. Like air and food. I don’t know how I ever got by ‘before’.
Today we’re surrounded by these three kinds of people … the new Christians, the always been Christians and the ones who don’t yet know that they don’t know what they are lacking. My hope is that God will use me as a stepping stone on their faith journey. One of the great things about God is that with Him there is no age limit when it comes to making things right.
““Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 NIV