“You may’t understand how good you might be till you first understand how unhealthy you might be.”
— John Johnson
“A smoking crater seeking 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 previous 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 after I acquired “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 an extended, exhausting highway forward translating that wonderful 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 wreck, habit to alcohol, succession of low cost romantic encounters.
One evening whereas carousing in San Francisco, I chanced upon a vivacious woman 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 that means. She enrolled in a “seekers” Bible research at a distinguished Palo Alto evangelical church. She finally turned a Christian.
One momentous evening (after I was in my mid-30s), I returned residence from work relatively late, “loaded to the gills” as ordinary. I slumped down onto the mattress the place my spouse was diligently doing a Bible research.
She turned her Bible towards me and innocently requested me what I considered a specific passage of scripture. In my drunken stupor I blurted out some conceited, dismissive, nonsensical put-down. Then it occurred …
In a single horrifying second, our bed room morphed from a protected 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 visiting me.
I don’t know how lengthy the episode lasted, however the flooring appeared to be falling away beneath me as I fell headlong into darkness, doom and a chilling lostness that I may 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 drive into oblivion. This was it, I assumed, totally acutely aware that I deserved what I used to be getting, but intensely wanting launch from it.
In some way, 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 may assist me.
Some caring Christian good friend 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 style, whereas patiently placing up with my limitless antics and avoidance methods. He was relentless in essentially the most winsome sense.
Ray wasn’t the one member of the heavenly posse on my path. There have been others, however that evening I wasn’t about to accept anybody however Ray and Ray solely, who I noticed as my heavenly “lifeguard” who may hold me from drowning as soon as extra within the darkness.
It was late at evening, and Ray and his household have been quick asleep. Didn’t matter. He was overjoyed to take my name and unhesitatingly invited me proper over to his residence.
It’s a marvel 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 good friend — which is precisely what I used to be in his eyes.
As Ray and I sat down, he may inform immediately that I used to be shaken right down to my bone marrow. What he shared with me that evening 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 respiration and is crying out to born each inside ourselves and inside 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 loss of life 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 creator of My Origin, My Future, a e book centered on Christianity’s primary “worth proposition.” Click on right here for extra info, or contact him at [email protected]. Click on right here for earlier columns. The opinions expressed are his personal.