Why should I be loyal to the standard that my parents and the church live by? My friends always do what is out of line and have a great time doing it. Why should I follow God when I’m always looking into their fun but not being part of it?
Every Sunday morning it was the same thing. My mom and dad would be yelling at me and at my sister. We would have to get out of the bed and get ready for church. I always would complain and say that church was boring not worth my valuable time. My parents thought differently, and they would practically drag me to church. I would go to church and mostly follow the rules, but only listen to what I wanted to hear. I thought a Christian life’s purpose was just to get saved from hell, so I said the prayer for that reason only.
The thought of becoming a Christian got tougher through middle school. Sermons and Sunday School Teachers were knocking on my brain saying living a double life won’t get you to heaven. I really didn’t care, because I thought I was okay. I thought saying a prayer would be enough to get me into heaven.
Well my shell was cracked by my high school pastor, Dave. I couldn’t hide anymore; my sins were laid out in front of me for me to see. I saw the path I was taking and had to make a choice of which way to live.
I went to Silver Birch Ranch that sophomore year summer. I told myself I would make my decision there. The first night we went into the small chapel and something transforming happened. The songs were talking to me. The sermon was basically about becoming a Christian, and at that point that is all I needed. I went back to my room the next day when no one else was around, and I cried out to Jesus. I poured my heart and left my life on the table for God to take.
That day in August I gave my life to Jesus Christ. This has become my new “this I believe.” It is more than I believe it is what I live. I have been regenerated and transformed to be like Jesus.
My parents and the church have done an outstanding job to keep me on the hook for Jesus. They kept trying to reel me in, but they had no luck for the longest time. The efforts have paid off. I’m glad they kept me on the hook, and I’m glad that God gave me a second chance. I never felt so alive in my life, and I will never turn my back on God. I will forever trust in my Lord Jesus. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.