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Why I Am a Christian

previously published in July 2004

I've been an Adventist all my life, and to be honest, there wasn't a single time that I didn¹t believe in God. I never doubted God's existence, or even His love for me, but I didn¹t see the point of giving my life to God if it was going to make my life unbearable. There were things I wanted to do, and I wasn¹t going to let an invisible God stop me from doing those things.

I decided when I became a teenager that when I was old enough to make my own decisions, I was going to leave the church. I never “left” the church, but my heart was never in it. I was a rebel to all authority, and didn¹t see the point to Christianity at all. At sixteen I had my first experience with God, it was one of the spiritual highs that ultimately left me flat. I doubted myself, I doubted God¹s love toward a sinner like me.  Reaching my 18th year, I was attending church because I wanted to, but there was a part of my life that I couldn't just give up. I eventually became frustrated of my lack of commitment, and my own sinfulness. I couldn't live a lie no longer and there was only one choice to be made. It was “my” life and I was going to live it the way I wanted to, I decided to part with God.

“Dear God, thanks for taking care of me, but we are finished. I am going to live my own way now. I know when all is done, I will die in hell, but that¹s ok, this is my choice. Let me just live my life, and let it be.”

I really thought I knew what I was doing, and I believed I really knew what I wanted, and what was best for me. I think there are moments in our lives, that we think we have all the answers. We don't need to listen to anyone and are accountable to no one. But these are the foolish moments where we are furthest from the truth. That year was the worse year of my life. Doing what I wanted to do, made me more miserable in all my life. Money, girls, friends, parties, I thought I had it all. After a year of doing everything I wanted to do, I found myself alone in my dark room feeling so very alone. For the very first time in my life, I contemplated suicide. What was the point of life, it just made me more frustrated.

I wish I could tell you I chose God because I gained this acute awareness, or God touched me somehow, but that's not what happened. I basically ran out of options, I didn¹t like what the world was offering me. Money, marriage, a career, and 20 years of golf? That's it, 70 years of aggravation?!  I'm a type of person that can¹t live a lie, and the joys and toys of this world didn't seem worth the effort, if it all just ended in nothingness. But there was the choice; that had to be made. God was there, He never left me the whole time. When the time was right, I finally stopped running away and gave up. With tears in my eyes, agonizing all night, I made the decision that I knew that I had to make. I decided to give my all to Jesus. It was the hardest decision of my life, I knew what this entailed.  What else did I have to lose, I had nothing else to live for. Who knew that God would give me the reasons for my life?

I've been a Christian for over 15 years; I honestly don't know how to live life without God. Those who are married will understand the same feeling about your spouses. These 15 years have been the most wonderful years of my life. Being a pastor has not only enriched my life, it saved it I have been blessed to be a part of so many lives. I am humbled to be called a pastor. The people I've met along the way, sharing Jesus with the people I love, it feels like I've been living a dream.

Ministry, good friends, two beautiful children, and a wonderful wife. I had no clue what made me happy, and God showed me what did. I guess I am a Christian by default, nothing else made sense. Over the decade and a half, I am still learning who God is. I am slowly beginning to understand what Love is about. I can make a very small case for what has God done in me, I am still so imperfect. But through it all, God is my Abba, He is a part of me, and I can't turn away. Everyday is a struggle, but I don¹t mind them, it helps me feel my need for Him. I pray He will finish His work in my life, and one day I want to hear those words; “Well done my son, welcome home.”

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