Raised in a large city in the Midwest with parents struggling to financially survive and fit in, siblings all going in their own directions, I was the quiet one watching and searching for my direction. Church was a bore and I felt judged by most of the congregation for not being good enough. Being involved in the street lifestyle and all that brings; drugs/drinking/violence/crime ended after many of associates were found murdered one evening, bringing to my awareness the reality of my choices. It was only by the grace of God that I was not with them on that particular day.
I continued to run with the wild crowd, but I could hear Gods voice get louder and louder in my head, it was time to change my lifestyle. Making a geographic escape from the City, I listened more to the direction the Lord was pointing me, but I fought it. Religion can make one look foolish. In his way he kept being persistent through daily miracles. My choice was a very strong feeling which turned into a thought, which turned into change. I recognized that I was judging the “churchy people” more than they were likely judging me. The very thing I was assuming others were doing, was the thing I was most guilty of myself.
There was not one time, one conversation or one interaction in which I can contribute to coming to Jesus, it was a series of events that gradually built. No lightning bolt, or earthquake, no “moment” of conversion.
Why would Jesus want to save me? For all I have done and not done, living in fear constantly, trying to just survive. As the feeling of God’s presence continued to calm me in times of anger, pride and self-righteousness, I slowly began to allow myself to take risks. I was slowly waking up, like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, slowly and painfully recognizing that my prior life was no longer working for me. With the stability of a new and loving marriage and more children, the comfort in looking foolish in my faith brought me closer to God. Riding with Bikers for Christ (BFC), sharing the ministry of renewal with others in times of fear, anger, and isolation, I consciously look now for the miracles that are all around us instead of finding things to complain about in midst of those miracles. Only by jumping all in to my faith and not knowing what would happen, when I had nothing to lose but my self-defeating anger and letting go of the pride that my lifestyle was working for me (even though it actually was limiting me), was I able to come to Christ. Bikers for Christ is a Christian Ministry which allows me to share my talents by putting Christ in the seat and following his direction. When I am not on the road praising Jesus and paying attention to all the miracles that I have all too often taken for granted, I also worship at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lake Geneva on Sundays.
As Mark Batterson stated: “Sometimes faith seems like a denial of reality, but that’s because we’re holding on to a reality that is more real than the reality we can perceive with our five senses”.