This I believe

Mark - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on May 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Do you remember the old Western movies where the cowboy would be minding his own business and then suddenly need help ’cause he was ambushed, and once help came, he used that second chance to save the girl? Everyone loves these types of movies where the main character saves someone. We all want to be the one who both saves and is saved. I have always wanted to be that main character because I believe in salvation. I believe in being given a second chance and the power that comes from redemption.

There have been many forces that have impacted my life, from parents, to peers, and even my teachers; they have all impacted my thoughts and my core values. Regardless, I tried for many years to reject what they said and to try and become “my own person.” However, I realize now that this was impossible, and that I was a fool to think this, because everything impacts us despite the immediate magnitude of it. I grew up in the Deep South in a family with deep Christian roots. I spent every Sunday morning in church. I learned all about man’s sin and how we were destined to failure without God, but I never saw the importance of what I was being taught until I was about 14 years old. It took me that much time to realize that my life was full of rebellion against my values, my parents and God. I saw that I was full of sin and that I too was destined to fail without God leading my life. It was that moment, as I had this realization, that I was able to have a true salvation experience. I was able to cry out to God, and he saved me from myself, from my own sin. He gave me a second chance; He gave me redemption; He gave me true salvation.

Now that I had this second chance I had complete freedom. I was no longer bound to my own way of life, the life that was full of rebellion, but I was able to live with freedom in my true convictions. I found that this salvation really was a good thing, and that Christ in me was actually the better way to live. I discovered that all of my rebellion was just a reaction from deep within my spirit to try and fill itself. I had tried so many times to fill it with material things that only later deteriorated or broke. However, now I had eternal “filler” that would complete me and give me this freedom. I truly experienced a second chance. I was taken away from my trashed life full of rebellion, and allowed to live as a free man with God inside of my spirit. Therefore, I think that when I share this story, and how all can have God’s filler, I become like that cowboy, who uses his second chance to save others.