Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Remembering One Reason I Became a Christian

It was the summer of 1986 and I was sitting on my bed. I was contemplating my life. I remember almost everything about that day, from the weather—it was unseasonably pleasant and sunny—the time of day, the sights and the smells, and my roommate had just left to make it to some classes he was finishing up. I had just graduated and was contemplating my next moves.

I remember this time because it was so pivotal in my life. It served as a marker for when my thinking became more sober. It was at that moment when I was contemplating the utter meaninglessness of life that I had an epiphany.

It was around this time that Flo Hyman died. She was a phenomenal U.S. Volleyball champion and I was a big fan of hers. During a game in January 24, 1986 she suddenly collapsed and died on the spot during a volleyball game in Japan. I had already spent much of the previous year discussing the death of exercise maverick, Jim Fixx with my buddy and roomate—even laughing about the irony. And then this happened. It hit me in a strange way that year.

It intensified during that summer as I was seeking employment in my field. I suddenly realized the absurdity of life. Here I am working hard to get through school. And now I am out. I will now work hard to get a good-paying job, a home, and a car. Then I will have to pay taxes, and then die. What is the point of it all?

That is when I wondered about God. What if he is real? What if all that I heard about Jesus is true? Then what? If not, then what?

I was in despair at the prospects. Either way meant my death. The death of my dreams, greatest hopes, and what I thought were my possibilities. I knew I could never see life the same way again, whether there was a God or if there was no God. I discovered that life was meaningless without settling the matter. There is no direction, point, or conclusion. I am, and then I am not. Everything I ever done will be forgotten. Who pays attention and who knows my inner thoughts? Who really understands me? No one, unless there is a God.

If there is a God, I can't live like I used to anymore. I have to deal with the knowledge that not only life has an incredible purpose, but I am accountable to live for that purpose. I knew I must find out the truth. I could not sleep anymore.

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