I never belonged to a cult, but was a product of the 60’s counter culture, and as such was a hedonistic, narcissistic, existentialist overly impressed by my grasp and understanding of the meaninglessness of life. Sartre, Camus, were to me the gods of knowledge. Drifting through an existential haze of self-centeredness, proclaiming make love not war, and believing that I had a corner on truth, only to find that it led to a void of emptiness. It was as Sartre said, “nothingness.” I drifted through this drugged and hedonistic haze until I was 43 years old. I had been through an eight year marriage, two adulterous affairs and other sordid things, too many to mention. I had recently remarried and moved from Connecticut to Florida with my new wife. My wife’s birthday was nearing and I had remembered her saying once that she would like to have a Bible. As a procrastinator I had put off buying her a gift. Confronted with her birthday the next day I had gone to a book store and purchased her a leather bound, monogrammed Bible. She was surprised that I had remembered her wanting a bible, and was pleased with the gift. The Bible then placed it on her night stand next to our bed–and there it stayed.
I would walk through our bedroom everyday and I would see it lying there, unmoved, unopened and as time progressed I became angry that what I thought to be such a thoughtful gift was being unappreciated. After two or three weeks of this anger building I was walking through our bedroom and my anger became palpable. I remember saying to myself, “How ungrateful. Doesn’t she appreciate what an effort I made to get her that silly book?” At that moment, no sooner after I had thought the above comment, a voice as clear as a bell spoke in my mind, it said, “It’s not for her. It’s for you.” I stood there in our bedroom, dumbfounded by what was a very clear voice in my mind. I picked it up and opened it. It fell open to Acts Chapter 9, and I read of Paul’s conversion, and I was within moments seeing the Truth, and asking Christ into my life. I saw myself kicking against the goads, and my will was broken. That was seven years ago.
I have asked the Lord many times why it was that I had never read the Bible until that moment. I have been an avid reader all of my life and it has always amazed me that I had never opened a Bible, except to look up crosswords puzzle answers, and He told me that all I had read prior to that moment was in preparation, that all the history, philosophy, sociology, psychology was necessary so that I might see all the little half truths and the emptiness of these man-centered answers to life’s questions, and that if I had read His Word prior to that moment, I would have dismissed it as just another book, and that I needed to be at a place where He could reveal complete and inerrant truth to me.
I have for the past seven years seen the Power of God change me in ways that are unfathomable. I am teaching Bible Studies in jail, playing guitar in two different praise bands, and being blessed everyday. God has blessed me with a loving wife, two beautiful children, with a third due in August, all at the age of 51. I have come to learn that yes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I also believe that how God has worked in my life is proof of what to many is a difficult passage, Romans 8:29-30. It is with a sense of awe and wonder that I now walk through this life–no longer mired in the nothingness of existentialism but walking in eternal purpose, knowing that I will one day see face to face, He who died for me, and that I will be able to humbly bow before Him, proclaim Him Lord and enter into His presence for eternity.
In His Yoke,