All of us are shaped by life experience, sometimes that shaping can be beneficial, other times destructive and occasionally a combination of the two.
Often the outcome we get from those experiences depends on how we choose to respond to them. Are there lessons to be learned, and are we willing to apply them?
My next posts will look at a small selection of good, bad and ugly “life changing events” that shaped me into the person I am.
Childhood and teen years.
1) Being sent to Sunday School as a child.
While the quality of teaching and activities didn’t really make me aware of the gospel, it did help give me a general belief in God, and taught me a few basic bible stories, preparing the ground for my future.
2) Being told by a friend that merely believing in the existence of God wasn’t enough. The friend had recently responded to the gospel and had started to attend a local Pentecostal church. His zeal for Jesus sowed the first gospel seeds into my life. I said “the sinner’s prayer”, but had little understanding of Christian discipleship. For a few weeks I attended a youth home fellowship but drifted away when they stopped meeting over the Christmas break.
3) Being convicted of sin. After finishing my last year of High School I visited my girlfriend whose family had earlier relocated to the other side of Australia. She took me along to a Sunday night church service and the preacher seemed to be speaking directly to me, convicting me about the sin in my life.
I was supposed to spend a whole week and a half with my girlfriend before flying home to start my first job, but on my first day she had to immediately take work she was offered out of the blue. I was therefore left alone during the daytimes in a strange city. I bought myself a bible and spent some of that time walking through riverside parks reading it. On the last day of my stay with her she lost the job.
4) Joining a church. I returned home, found a local church to attend and threw myself into every meeting they had: two Sunday services, A Monday night prayer meeting, the Wednesday evening service, Friday youth group, as well as volunteering at their outreach coffee shop on other nights. On the first night I attended I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and a couple of weeks later, baptised in water.