Today is the anniversary of my spiritual birthday. Here’s how it happened. I was in another church service where my Dad was speaking. This one seemed like the rest. I enjoyed my church but I wasn’t paying a lot of attention that day. In fact I took a book with me to read and that is what I did; until we stood up to sing the invitation song. Between verses my Father talked about the love of Jesus and how He died on the cross for my sins. He had my attention.
It wasn’t just the words but it was also the feeling in the pit of my stomach that I couldn’t describe. To this day I don’t know whether to call it a hunger for something more, an acute awareness of my own selfishness or a drawing to something very lovely. It was a mix of the three. I remember counting the verses thinking most hymns were four verses so if I could hold out one more I could go. Something deep inside wanted to go to the altar and pray but suddenly I felt claustrophobic.
We finished the song and I got out as fast as I could. I remember feeling a little foolish because I really had nowhere to go. Remember, my Dad was the Pastor and he would stay until the last person left so I was stuck there. I thought about going outside but the weather wasn’t good. So I went downstairs. There weren’t a lot of choices so I chose the men’s restroom. I went in and locked the door.
It wasn’t a big room, a one holer, and once inside I felt very foolish. I remember saying to myself, why am I running. If this feeling is from God I’m not going to be able to get away from it no matter where I go. And if it is God why am I running? Maybe there is something good here I need.
I didn’t know what to pray but I felt like praying was the right thing to do. I’m not sure why but I got on my knees. Of course the toilet became a convenient place to kneel. And yes, the lid was down. I prayed, Dear God. Please forgive me for my sin. Come into my heart and make me the person you want me to be. Amen.
The peace that followed was incredible. I felt clean from the inside out. Intuitively I knew that I was forgiven. I didn’t know what to expect but I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. Choosing Christ was as simple as beginning a relationship with Someone who already knew me better than I knew myself. That day I made what has turned out to be the best decision of my life.