I have spent many hours in the recent past contributing to the endless hum of internet traffic via the blogosphere and, have rather enjoyed it. There were (unfortunately) several hiccups during my last foray. I call them hiccups however, the sad truth is, I had commitment issues. I have been mulling over in my mind, these last few months, rekindling my love for musing aloud in the form of a literary mess and, have decided that the time is now well and truly here!
I think that the intention with this blog is to engage with my thoughts as a young (ish) Immature Christian, coming to know more fully and (indeed!) grow in my understanding of God.
**I intend to engage with decent theological source material right here and also generate my own conversation. **
Once upon a time…
I would like to share first, my story. I learnt, just today, that one of the most effective methods of conveying important information is to tell a story.
For the biggest part of my life I have been somewhat heathenish in my inclinations! I grew up as a self appointed, ‘adamant’ atheist. I aspired to the religious teachings of great (and they are great) evolutionary biologists, theoretical physicists and, philosophical type thinkers. The likes of Hawkins, Hitchens, Feinman and others had a huge impact on my world view.
Most encounters with Christians were brief, uncomfortable and, I ALWAYS left feeling justified in my world-view by their inability to form a coherent argument.1 It is safe to say I was unwilling to shift my perspective.
I carried on this way in absolute ignorance of the truth for many years until, in 2009 I carried myself off to university. During my very first proper lecture I sat down on the front row, head down, ready to take an impressive array of notes. A girl whom I hardly paid any attention to, strolled in and sat down beside me. I kept my head down, minding my own business and, to be quite frank, looking forward to getting out of there so I could go back to my accommodation, experiment with recreational drugs and play x-box with my flatmates. This girl tapped me on the shoulder and I turned dutifully out of a social obligation to face her. She was smiling at me with a bright enthusiasm I doubt I was able to match. She introduced herself and her new friend Laura. We talked together about our experiences so far until the lecturer coughed the morning into order!
Gemma and I (that was her name by the way) spent more and more time together during my first few weeks of university. we quickly became great friends and very suddenly realised that there was a real spark there! It wasn’t long before we became, ‘an item’. I have had many relationships in the past and feel confident saying that, until Gemma, I had never been in love. Things quickly changed with Gem. I was totally and utterly in love with her.
After a few weeks it became obvious that there was a glaring difference in our world-views. Something that David Devenish would argue, is at the very core of one’s person. She was a Christian and, well, you know how I felt.
We spent evening after evening getting to know each other and, surprisingly, I wasn’t discouraged by her faith (although, at the time I rejected such a notion myself). We did manage to find ourselves in many rather heated debates during the fledging period of our relationship and, looking back somewhat reflectively, I was a bit cruel back then.
I remember a specific argument in which I was well and truly on my high horse shouting down judgements on her for what I used to assume was a dumb, narrow and deluded faith. I talked and talked at her giving her no time to breathe let alone refute! After about 20 minutes of this continuous rant, my girlfriend looked at me in sheer exasperation, drew in a deep breath, closed her eyes and went to sleep. I literally talked at her till’ she blacked out.
After about a year and a half of arguing continually about our belief systems I began to realise that I was, perhaps, being a little naive in my arguments and was not really looking at the argument from a fair vantage point. I decided to start researching her belief system a little more thoroughly. God, at that moment, had begun to chisel away at the rocky barricades I had thrown up around my heart.
A couple of weeks or so after this decision to expand my horizons, I was in a van with Gemma’s father, Trevor. He asked me if I believed in Jesus Christ. I lied to him and said that I did. At that exact moment, I began to feel a huge, painful, pang of guilt. Because of that guilt 2, I decided to start reading the bible. God had broken through!
The more I read, the more I found my objections were addressed (sometimes directly!) in the Bible. The Genesis account, backed with a few great books, in particular this one, really opened me up to the possibility of a living, God. I was won over!
Admittedly at that point, I still had some pretty big questions racing around my mind. To cut an incredibly long story short, I came to realise that the time had come to accept Jesus. Gemma’s dad and I were upstairs chatting one day and he asked me straight up, ‘have you accepted Jesus?’. I replied with a sheepish, whimpering, ‘no’. He talked me through the process of confessing to God and we did so together! I had been saved! (<——–big moment right there).
This happened in October 2011, I was baptised the following Easter. Life has been incredible since.
God has taken me on a massive journey and I look forward to sharing some of those moments with you here.
1 Obviously, in recent years and since coming to faith in the living Jesus Christ, I realise that it was not their inability to argue coherently and more so, MY inability to comprehend an alternative position to my own (I will add, ‘arrogant’ to the aforementioned, self appointment)
2 I later came to see this guilt as a conviction that God had put on my heart.