“You’ll be able to’t understand how good you’re till you first understand how unhealthy you’re.”
— John Johnson
“A smoking crater in the hunt for grid coordinates.” That’s how a seasoned aviator as soon as referred to a reckless airplane pilot he knew.
I used to be as soon as like that reckless untrained “pilot,” in a rickety outdated biplane known as my life, foolishly flying into one violent thunderstorm after one other. I used to be clueless about the place I used to be going, or what I might do once I bought “there” (there wouldn’t have been any “there” there, anyway).
I used to be an accident going someplace to occur.
My Feb. 11 column described my Divine encounter (when in my mid-20s) that woke me as much as the fact of God. That was the excellent news. However alas, I used to be to have a protracted, exhausting highway forward translating that superb episode into true Christian conversion with a life to match.
My subsequent chapter in life was not fairly … as airplane crashes go. Contentious divorce, blended up youngsters, monetary destroy, dependancy to alcohol, succession of low-cost romantic encounters.
One night time whereas carousing in San Francisco, I chanced upon a vivacious girl who, months later, we married on a whim.
Whereas initially promising, my unhealthy habits took their toll on our fledgling marriage, and he or she grew hungry for which means. She enrolled in a “seekers” Bible examine at a outstanding Palo Alto evangelical church. She ultimately grew to become a Christian.
One momentous night time (once I was in my mid-30s), I returned house from work quite late, “loaded to the gills” as traditional. I slumped down onto the mattress the place my spouse was diligently doing a Bible examine.
She turned her Bible towards me and innocently requested me what I considered a selected passage of scripture. In my drunken stupor I blurted out some boastful, dismissive, nonsensical put-down. Then it occurred …
In a single horrifying second, our bed room morphed from a secure haven right into a darkish, threatening chamber of horrors. Because it occurred, my spouse thought I used to be having a coronary heart assault as all of the blood ran from my face and a glance of sheer terror came to visit me.
I don’t know how lengthy the episode lasted, however the ground appeared to be falling away underneath me as I fell headlong into darkness, doom and a chilling lostness that I might actually style. So far as I knew I had died and was now reaping what I had sown.
I cried out however couldn’t make a sound. I used to be powerless within the grip of a hellish, gravitational downward pressure into oblivion. This was it, I assumed, absolutely acutely aware that I deserved what I used to be getting, but intensely needing launch from it.
One way or the other, I used to be launched from my downward plunge, and sat bolt upright within the mattress, pale as a ghost. I leaped up, ran out of the room and in a panic, instantly dialed the telephone variety of the one man on earth I knew who might assist me.
Some caring Christian pal had put me onto “the radar” of the pastor of a Redwood Metropolis church who made me one thing of a private challenge. Ray reached out on and off for months, pursuing me with Christ’s message of affection and charm, whereas patiently placing up with my infinite antics and avoidance methods. He was relentless in probably the most winsome sense.
Ray wasn’t the one member of the heavenly posse on my path. There have been others, however that night time I wasn’t about to accept anybody however Ray and Ray solely, who I noticed as my heavenly “lifeguard” who might maintain me from drowning as soon as extra within the darkness.
It was late at night time, and Ray and his household had been quick asleep. Didn’t matter. He was overjoyed to take my name and unhesitatingly invited me proper over to his house.
It’s a surprise I didn’t get a rushing ticket, with a DUI thrown in, as I raced over to Ray’s. He greeted me like a long-lost pal — which is strictly what I used to be in his eyes.
As Ray and I sat down, he might inform immediately that I used to be shaken all the way down to my bone marrow. What he shared with me that night time was beautiful. Keep tuned for extra about it subsequent week.
Theologian Fredrick Buechner wrote: “… the Kingdom of God within the sense of holiness, goodness, magnificence is as shut as respiratory and is crying out to born each inside ourselves and throughout the world; we might know that the Kingdom of God is what all of us of us starvation for above all different issues … it’s what we’re ravenous to dying for … we’re all of us homesick for it.”
— D.C. Collier is a Bible trainer, discipleship mentor and author centered on Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and Web entrepreneur, he’s the writer of My Origin, My Destiny, a guide centered on Christianity’s fundamental “worth proposition.” Click here for more information, or contact him at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his personal.