My Journey of Faith
We moved to
Virginia Water in 1975 and during the first 24 years I had been inside the doors
of Christchurch twice. Both occasions were carol services and very good they
were too but I hardly think it qualified as regular church going.
A working life in engineering designing complex machines and control systems, which were technically trivial compared to the natural wonders all around us, has always made the existence of a creator easy to believe. To me it is the pure chance theory that is unbelievable. But for some inexplicable reason Jesus Christ and the bible had laid out of sight.
However things changed in January 2000 when Dave Thomas knocked on our door with the Jesus Millennium Video and an invitation to take part in a "Y" course, which involved meeting together with others like myself from the community to learn about God. From this tentative start an intriguing and stimulating set of informal studies has followed; for example, unpacking the bible over breakfast on a Saturday morning at the Men's Bible Study group. The objective being to check out the evidence for the existence of God and Jesus Christ and to consider the relevance of following their teachings to life in the twenty first century.
Having never really thought about these issues or the New Testament before I find it amazing how, 2000 years on, they so perfectly address the complexities of today's life and the current world problems. In human value terms it is almost as if we have learnt nothing in the intervening years and our worldly problem 'fixes' have changed so little for so many people. The world could be such a wonderful place to live if so much of mankind weren't so hell bent on making it otherwise.
But the bottom line must be, has this made any difference for me and the answer is an unqualified yes. In particular the guidance on living in harmony and supporting one another seem so obvious I wonder why didn't I pick up on it more strongly before? The downside of course is that after a life time of making my on decisions trusting in Jesus and loving all mankind will be just two of the many challenges to be wrestled with. But I can now stand back from the coal-face and see more clearly all the wonderful gifts that surround us and be thankful for the amazing hope that is offered of forgiveness for wrong and everlasting life through the death of Jesus Christ in my place. Given time, perhaps my family and everyone else will see someone who is better at listening, encouraging and supporting.
I thank God that Dave knocked on our door but also thank all the ladies and gentlemen of Christchurch family for giving so freely of their time, knowledge and enthusiasm. So if you are curious about the meaning of life in general and Christianity, in particular, I strongly recommend coming to a service at Christchurch. There is, however, just a minor health warning. Christchurch family, as you may already know, are very welcoming and very friendly but their faith has been known to be contagious and they certainly know a man who could alter your outlook on life.