My First Heart Beat
Before I became a Christian I considered myself to be a good person. I followed all the rules, I did all the right things, I fitted into society in an acceptable way. I even went to a Christian school. If there was an award given for the way I lived, I could have won a golden statue.
My acceptance speech would have been grand: “I would like to thank my parents and my upbringing, but I would especially like to congratulate myself for my cleverness and innate goodness. Thank you, very much.” I believe I would have been rather pleased with myself. But it would have been a lie.
I entertained dark thoughts. I harbored impatience with others. I was selfish and at times unkind. I was careless and self-involved. I did things that I knew were wrong just so that I would be accepted in a crowd. In truth I was never perfect. But there was more I discovered about myself. I was weak, I was frail and I was afraid.
My mother was a Christian and she was also my best friend. We had long conversations about anything and everything. We could talk for hours about the meaning of the universe, teenage angst, or about the color the sky turns on stormy days. Because I was a good person I tolerated our conversations about God. I didn’t fully understand the devotion behind her words. I believed in a god, but he was a distant god. He was not for me on any kind of personal level. Sure, he created the world and everyone in it, but that’s where his interest ended.
It took my mum’s passionate words, and God’s powerful, life-changing touch, to open my eyes and show me how wrong I was. Christ didn’t just die for everyone in general, to save a species that God created so long ago. Jesus suffered and died and rose again for me. He did the same for you. It was an act of love to save each and every one of us, on an individual, and very personal, level.
I came to realise that God knows me by name. He knows all my idiosyncrasies, every thought I’ve ever had and will ever have. He knows the things that make me smile. He knows my fears and my irritations. He knows everything about me and yet he still wants to save me. Jesus’ act of devastating sacrifice became for me irrefutable proof of God’s love for me.
My blind eyes could finally see, and it seemed I had not lived before that summer day back in ‘83 when I accepted Christ into my life. I suddenly found myself reborn into a world of fire and ice. I didn’t know it was possible to feel such life. It was not a thing I could describe. I felt suffused. There was suddenly more of it than this body was worthy to hold. And the love that came with it was a furnace that burned my soul with passion. I could do anything. I could have moved mountains or parted the seas.
This was the life that Christ gave me. This was how the heart beat of my faith in God began.