Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Day I Was Caught In A Lie

Yep, Guilty. And it hurt. But the hurt went away.
Before we proceed, please look to the right, at the picture from 1978.
About a year after that picture came The Lie, which I've detailed here before,
but it's been a while, and there may be fresh(er) eyes reading this to whom it would be new.
(Don't laugh-it could happen!)
NOW I can understand all that was going on, but at the time: no way was up, all was confusion and I was failing at life.
God was after me.
He was piercing my conscience through with many arrows, and I felt that I was not going to make it.
I fought. I wanted nothing to do with God. But...
I had Christian friends that were praying, writing to me, witnessing to me, who told me that
God loved me.
I didn't feel loved-I felt troubled, as if my whole world was falling apart, that there was no hope.
I had grown up in a Lutheran church, but felt that was a sham-I never saw God there, just
well intentioned hypocrisy.
I did know a few Scriptures; one that tore right through me:
25“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 
26“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:25-26

This wasn't taught in the Lutheran church-we were told that we were confirmed as Christians
BY the church, and that we were headed to Heaven.
I wished to save my own life, but that just wasn't happening.
I KNEW I was headed to hell no matter what the Pastor recited over us each Sunday.
I was running from God, from 'what does it profit a man', from the reality that God existed.
And God was patiently working on me, bringing me to the point where I would no longer trust in my flawed self righteousness, but instead seek Him.
It was in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan that I sought out a bookstore, hoping to find some Science Fiction or Fantasy to escape into, where I could hide from Him.
Shopping mall bookstore, near closing time, empty except for the owner.
It took less than a minute inside for me to realize that it was a Christian book store.
The owner, a genial man, engaged me in small talk for a bit before he asked "The Question":
"I assume that you are a Christian, right?"
I looked him in the eye and said, "Yes I am".
In my heart I knew it was a lie.
He cheerfully said something about it being a special time of year, and I realized that it was near what I then called 'Easter'.
I nodded and got out of there quickly, having added one more sin to the pile on my heart.
It wasn't long after that when I finally DID give up and turn to God, and my life was saved
not because I was good, but because God Is.
I'm pretty sure that I will see that book store owner in Heaven.
I hope to see you there, too.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Though it may not be interesting to you, the genesis of this post came from it being Christmas.
As young kids we LIVED for Christmas
as our greedy little hearts treasured stuff, STUFF, and MORE STUFF.
We would call our friends and boast at each other about "What I Got!"
I received the best gift possible back there in Sault Ste Marie when I 'got saved' by Jesus Christ.
Since that day, I have treasured this world and its goods less and less, and appreciated the fact that I will go through eternity at peace with God.
That is my Christmas present and future.