The sharp blade of a "bolo" knife sliced through my hand and as I lay in the blood stained snow, the reality of death hovered over me. "Was I really going to die?" I grew faint and stumbled into the house and found myself praying to God...not for my life on earth, but for my afterlife.
In High School, I realized that life was passing me by. I became determined to change things, to find fulfillment. I looked to people who I felt were successful and started to imitate their ways. I changed the way I walked, I learned the "in" things to say and jokes to tell, and I got myself a girl friend. Still, deep inside me, I knew that I was missing out on something.
"If God doesn't really exist, then what's the point in living?"
I stared out at the Californian mountains pondering my existence; only 15 years old. I had grown up in a religious family knowing about spiritual things, but my life felt empty. I was conflicted; one side wanted everything that this life was offering me: sex, drugs, money, power and prestige while the other quietly hinted at other lesser-known realities in my life: purpose, peace, love, forgiveness and joy.
Many people think that being religious is the key to finding spiritual power and contentment. In my case, even though I thought I was very religious, I was not experiencing these things, until, through some life-changing events, I found the answers.
When I was a child, my mother took me to church every week, where I prayed and heard spiritual teaching. I was given a Bible, which I enjoyed reading. These religious activities were good things, but I needed a deeper reality of God in my life.
I was afraid I'd be a SINGLE school teacher of other peoples' kids with none of my own... if I really gave my life to God!
When I was only seven years old, it became clear to me that I could have Jesus as my own Savior-not just because of my parents' faith. Though young, I really knew He was in my life because of His promise in the Bible: "The Lord goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deut 31:8, Heb 13:5)
So shut your mouth, how can you say, I go about things the wrong way, I am human and I need to be loved, just like everyone else does." -the smiths
If there really is a God... I am sure He is not very happy with me. And I KNOW that He would want nothing to do with me.
Can you relate to those thoughts? For most of my life I had very few thoughts about God. I figured if He did exist - He sure didn't love me. Because you see - I wasn't a very good guy. In my childhood, I tormented my younger brother and sisters - and as I grew older, I experimented with drugs and alcohol. If there was a way get ahead by lying or stealing - I would do it. Why not? I figured anyone else would do the same thing - so why get left behind?
I used to think that I could find favor with God by going to church and reading the Bible. Many times I tried to live a good life, but eventually I would fail and not live up to my expectations. I wanted to do good, but was not able to be consistent. I could not change the person I was, although I really tried.
I hit the deck of the aircraft carrier fearing for my life as a US Navy jet slammed into the ship.
The earthquake violently ripped through my 13-story hotel in the middle of the night, causing it to sway precariously. I was seven floors up, and the walls and floor swayed so dramatically that I braced myself, expecting tons of concrete to collapse above, burying me at any moment.