Christmas has passed. The year is winding down as is the children's winter break. Very shortly things will go back to normal. . . Visiting with family this season was pleasant and not too stressful. I am not quite sure if that was due to everyone being a little older, a little wiser or just a bit more relaxed this year. It also could be that everyone was the same as they always have been and I am somehow different. I am different than I was but most days it does not seem that remarkable to me or that noticeable to me. Now on with my tale . . .
My first experience with going to a Christian church as a seeker again did not see me bursting into flames as I passed through the threshold of the sanctuary. I was a bit nervous even though I was meeting someone there. Someone else from the biker world was there and I am sure was keeping an eye out for my arrival as my friend told everyone that I was coming. His name is Turtle and he is a pleasant mild mannered fellow belonging to Bikers for Christ MC. I knew him from events we mutually attended around the state over the years.
There are numerous things I liked about the MC world and the club I belonged to. There are an equal amount if not more things that I always disliked about being a biker. There is an old joke and it goes like this;
"What is the difference between a biker and a motorcycle enthusiast?"
Answer: "A motorcycle enthusiast needs a motorcycle."
Now as most of you sit there going, "huh?" understand that being a biker is 100% attitude. Many are born to fit very comfortably in that role and many fake it. The only difference between the real ones and the fake ones is that the real ones could care less about the fakes. All of them for a myriad of reasons and scenarios can be dangerous people. We will come back to this topic later as it is an integral part of my story.
Turtle came up to me greeting me warmly. He showed me to where he and his wife were sitting and I joined them there. Not all the way to the front but not all the way in the back either. Musicians gathered on the pulpit and started to play. Everyone stood and started to clap along with the music. Turtle was singing and people throughout the sanctuary raised their hands and sang while worshipping. This was a very different experience for me. At a synagogue worship and services are much more serious and solemn with most of the service being in Hebrew. I remember nothing about the teaching that day. They talked about Jesus and I was keeping an open mind. The single most notable aspect for me was the outwardly visible deep belief these people had in God!
Belief was what captured my attention in the beginning and belief was what I kept encountering. How do you believe? Why do you believe? What exactly do you believe? These were the questions that I was continually coming back to. The one point I was convinced of was that I did not know nearly enough to make a truly informed decision. No, that is not true really. I knew something was there but there was some sort of obstacle to fully and unreservedly giving myself over to it. And I sit here today much farther along than on that day almost 2 years ago there is still some unknown hindering me from completely submitting myself to God.
Do I believe in God? Do I believe God believes in me? Do I believe the Bible is the inerrant preserved word of God? Do I believe that Jesus lived, died for my sins and was resurrected? Do I believe my faith in Jesus justifies me? Do I believe I am forgiven continually? Do I believe God is faithful and just and merciful? Do I believe God's mercy is fresh every morning. Do I believe God had a plan for me? Do I believe that God is my friend and that He calls me friend?
The answer to all these questions and more is without a shred of doubt YES!
(to be continued)