1976, the year I made the most important decision in my life. No it wasn’t done to please anyone. I wasn’t forced into it. I didn’t go unwillingly. In fact truth be told, I did it for reasons at the time I didn’t understand.
1976, I was 16 years old. I was lost and confused. I didn’t have a girlfriend. I was too homely for a girl friend. I didn’t have a lot of friends at the time. I had a few but not as many as you would think. I was an awkward teenager. I was tall and gangling. I was the guy that girls avoided at the prom. “Eww no dancing with him! He’s ugly”
1976, I was invited to church by none other than my sister Nancy. Yes it’s her fault! I started to go and felt something like I had never felt before. Then I met the man that would become my best friend. He would be my best man at my first wedding. He would be the brother that I never had and the friend that was not afraid to smack me upside the head. He was the one that taught me how to play the guitar.
1976, the year that would send me on a collision course with the family that would become my second family. I was proud to call them Mom and dad. He always seemed to accept it grudgingly but he would smile when I called him Dad.
1976, I came to know the greatest love that had ever lived. I found the one person who would love me for me, scars, warts and all. He willingly died for me. He did not cause he had to but because he wanted to..but..yes there is a but!
1976, I went though all the confirmation classes. I went through it all. I even got baptized into the United Church of Canada but ya know something. I spoke the words but meant none of it. I said the words but knew I would never go through with them. Some say that it was wrong and it may have been that way but I think that If I had not done it then I would not have had my meeting with the Lord!
1976, So I went through the motions. I played the good Christian like a lot of people do from time to time. I played the roll well but I didn’t play it well enough. Jesus saw straight through me.
1976, Christmas Eve. The day that I let my defenses down. I had a conversation with the Lord. A very pointed conversation. I was convicted and convinced that I was not living the life He wanted me to live! Let me tell you about it.
I was 16 and it was Christmas eve. My mom and step dad had gone down to Niagara Falls and had brought me back this crucifix. So I hung it on my wall, facing my bed and there it hung. I didn’t think another thought about it. So Christmas Eve comes and I am sleeping. I wake up to see this bright light in my bedroom. Some dumb ass was shining his headlights into my room. I looked around and saw a light coming from behind the cross. I thought that was nice of my step dad to put a light behind it. So I went back to sleep.
The light persisted. I sat looking at it in my bed and then my eyes widened as I saw the head move. The head looked down at me and said “Do You Love Me?” I said “Yes Lord?” and the response I got was “Then why do you do the things that you do?”
“I don’t know.” was my only reply.
The response was something I was not expecting. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” was my response. I was shocked. I was a sinner. Even after taking Jesus as my own, I was still the same person I was before. I was still swearing and doing all the bad things that I did before.
I went back to sleep but the light persisted still. I looked at the Cross and the same words came to me. “Do you love Me?”.
“Yes.” I said.
“Then why do you do the things that you do?”
“I don’t know.” was my response.
I went back to sleep. The light persisted. I was getting annoyed. I opened my eyes and looked at the Cross.
“What do you want from me?”
“YOU!” was the response that I got.
I sat there. He wanted me. A broken individual that had no intention of doing the things that I had promised all those months ago. He didn’t want my money or anything else I had. All he wanted was me. I was dumbfounded. No one wanted me. I was a useless human being. I was a liar yet Jesus wanted me. I crumbled.
Christmas eve 1976, I took Jesus as my own and I even though I have fallen off the path and gone different ways into the wilderness, Jesus has always wooed me back to his righteousness.
It’s been 42 years that I have walked with God! I am not the perfect Christian. There is no such creature. Jesus was the only perfect person that walked this earth. He was so perfect that He let Himself be crucified for my and your mistakes!
I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am “Not Perfect…Just Forgiven!”. I make mistakes everyday. I take His name in vain and He reminds me that I am not to do that. He doesn’t yell rather gently reminds us of who He is!
If you don’t know the Jesus that I know, then maybe it is time that you did. He is free for the taking. He won’t expect you to do anything that you don’t feel comfortable with. Jesus loves you. Just like He loves me. Not cause He has to but because He wants to. We are not worthy of His love or His sacrifice.
None of us are worthy but through the shedding of His blood. Take Him as your own and you will not be disappointed!
“Keep Looking UP! His Coming Is Nigh!”