There I was flat on my back—the whole thing such a mystery. If it hadn’t been for the tall green grass occasionally rubbing against my face and feet, I would have likely forgotten where I was. It was all so amazing.
I don’t know about you, but as a teenager, I liked looking at stars. I’m sure that living in Vermont, where stargazing is incredible, had a lot to do with my fascination. As I lie on my back wondering how it all came into being, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the limitations of my thinking. How could there be no end to it all? Just the idea that the stars and the sky go on forever and ever was enough to make my mind come to a screeching halt.
It was back then, as a young curious teenager, that some of life’s deepest questions began bubbling up in my pool of understanding. Those questions, and an active imagination, led me on some very adventuresome journeys. One thought always led to another—one clue to the next. And, just when I would stand at the door of solving the mysteries of the universe, it would happen. That inescapable, seemingly unbreakable cord attached to the earth and my limited understanding, would jerk me back to the ground. The whole thing was frustrating, to say the least.
Looking back, strangely enough, I’m grateful for the experience. That’s when I learned to pray. There was something about reaching the end of myself that caused me to do more than just look up at the sky. I began looking at God. Now I need to be upfront and tell you, I groped for answers in a lot of other places before I finally turned to the Lord. Actually, I was so confused by all the religious and non-religious arguments that I almost quit my search. If it hadn’t been for an inner knowing that there was something more, and a loving God who was drawing me, I’m sure I would have let the whole thing go.
I’ll never forget when my struggle came to an end. With so many theories and opinions spinning around in my mind I finally blurted out a prayer that changed my life forever. “God, if you’re real, I’ve got to have some help. Do something with my life.” Interestingly enough, it was just that simple. I hadn’t quoted long passages of scripture or helped a bunch of old ladies across the street, I just prayed an honest prayer from my heart.
It was that honest prayer that seemed to get God’s attention. I tell you from that moment forward, supernatural things began happening for me. And to think, it was so simple. Situation after situation, circumstance after circumstance, suddenly my life began moving in ways that only God could orchestrate. I couldn’t deny it. It was as though I had let go of the steering wheel and said, “Here God, You drive,” and He took me up on my offer.
That was over twenty-five years ago. A lot has changed since then. I have a beautiful family—an amazing congregation who call me their pastor—a few gray hairs and, most importantly, a wonderful relationship with the guy who hung all the stars in the sky—Jesus Christ.