Our Sunday School class is going through the Becoming A Contagious Christian program, and our homework these last few weeks was to put together our testimony in a 2-3 minute bullet, and share with the class. This has been such a great assignment for me, I've never really sat down and concentrated on my salvation, how it happened and how I feel about it. It's been a beautiful and disconcerting experience.
I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 8 or 9, at Pioneer Girls, the Wednesday night program for our church. Why did I ask Jesus to cleanse me of my sins? In a nutshell, they literally scared the hell out of me. I didn't want to spend eternity in Hades, poked by Satan's pitchfork, so I thought Jesus sure sounded like the safer bet. As an adult, I question this practice. I don't emphasize hell to my son. I highlight Jesus's love for us, and His sacrifice. I want Andrew to love Jesus because Jesus loves us, not because we need to be terrified of the alternative.
I also have some theories about being saved at a young age. It seems very likely that those who receive Jesus as children rebel against Him in their teens. Only to return when they themselves have children. This is a recurring theme in Sunday School, and I wonder how I can help Andrew avoid this trap.
And, do you think that God grieves when one of us dies and goes to Hell? I think He does, even though He's all-knowing and can pinpoint the moment it's going to happen.
I grew up in Christian schools, at least until 9th grade. And just that has been a huge step in the wrong direction. You think that kids don't notice the flaws of adults. We saw some very poor examples of Christianity in parochial school, and still do to this day. I believe that High Point Baptist Academy was pivotal in my leave-of-absence from my faith. You have higher expectations for a school that costs $6000 annually and professes it's faith in Jesus, and when they make poor decisions, and push their carnal ideals and ambitions, well, it didn't end well. High Point left scars that even today I battle. But it also left taught me lessons, mostly not in a good sense.
Andrew will attend public school. At least he won't have higher expectations that will be dashed. He'll know he's walking into a secular world, and we'll equip him as best we can. That strikes me as an intimidating responsibility, thank God He's there to help!
Today, my faith is stronger than ever. God is not my copilot, He is in absolute control. And, looking at our present situation, I wouldn't want it any other way. His presence in my life has never been more felt. Prayers are answered. My life is filled with purpose. I'm interested in being a better Christian, and a better example to those around me. I'm learning to talk about Jesus with passion instead of fear. My heart is excited!
I'm sure nosing around these dusty corridors of my mind will produce some more interesting ideas, and it's a great thing to be a thinking adult and be able to process some of these theories. Nothing trumps experience as a teacher. And since your experiences are the foundation of your testimony, I can only be grateful to have them. They were clearly God's plan, and someday I'll know why.
For right now, Andrew and I have plans. When we get to heaven together, we're going to ride on a raindrop, and skate on a snowflake. It's something to look forward to!