Number4(this is a recurring weekly series on the fifty events that shaped the course of my life and the person i’ve become along the way.  welcome to my therapy.)

when i was in high school, i was not particularly serious about my faith.  as a matter of fact, i was pretty good at keeping it concealed during the week…and then breaking it out just in time for church on sunday morning.  truth is, i was working really hard to be cool (around people who really were cool), and whatever “style” points i was accumulating, i didn’t want to risk losing by admitting i was the nerdy church guy.

anyway, after i graduated, two things happened.  first, i was out of the high school scene and the non-stop pursuit of teenage popularity.  second, wanda and i started to get really serious…and she was a young mother teresa in my book.  she lived on some lofty spiritual mountaintop that i had only read about.

i desperately needed to get my spiritual act together, if there was ever a chance of her keeping me.  i started to get serious…at least on the outside.  i took a bold leap of faith.

i bought a christian bumper sticker and put it on my car.  yeah.  talk about the cost of discipleship …bonhoeffer would have been proud.jesus one way

it was the summer after my senior year in high school and i was washing my car in the driveway and there’s this dude walking down the sidewalk in front of my house.  he was a hippy-looking guy…probably a vietnam war vet…looking pretty ragged.  he stopped and stared at the back of my car while i was bent over washing my front bumper.

when i stood up, he looked right at me and said some words that had never been pointed in my direction before:

“you don’t believe that sh*t, do you?”

to be honest, i don’t remember exactly what i said, but i guarantee you, i was not profound.  i did my best to say that i believed in jesus and that his way was the right way…but this guy was ready for battle.  he attacked every attempt i made to defend my faith with a logic and secular philosophy i had never encountered.

when he saw that i was no match for his worldly wisdom, he laughed at me and moved on down the road.  i was left standing there with a dripping sponge.  a hopeless mess.

the philosophies of the university campuses i was getting ready to step foot on in the early 1970’s were going to swallow me alive.

i was only 18 at the time, but my life was changed.  i either needed to walk away from this whole “religion” thing…or start studying to figure out what i really believed.

i decided to study.


2 thoughts on “Life-changers…#4

  1. Glad you decided to study! Look at the positive impact and lives you have touched by simply making that choice. Okay, that’s all the SAP you get from me this week.

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