Like the Old Testament figures who faced a crisis, had an encounter with God, and erected a pillar of stones to commemorate the place, this day on the calendar is my altar of remembrance.
Today marks 35 years since I was lost enough to let myself be led, to borrow words from my favorite Rich Mullins song, Hard to Get.
Two questions and one answer forever changed the trajectory of my life and have given me these thirty-five years, quite literally, on the house.
Question one: Are you having that much fun?
Question two: How much are you worth?
Answer: God thinks you’re worth the death of His Son.
Thirty-five years in, and I’m as amazed today at how and where Jesus found me as in the hour I first believed.
I’m certain many people are looking for God. They just don’t know they’re looking for Him.
Many, like my 21-yr-old self, think they’ve already found Him. He’s the all-inclusive, Grand Cosmic Guru running everything, hidden in everything, maintaining everything, right? He’s the One conducting the Acid Tests. He’s the One encouraging you to Be Here, Now. He’s the one that’s totally cool with you as long as you don’t hurt anyone else, right? Not considering that a life spent groping around in a dark room when there’s a light switch on the wall, hurt’s everyone else…right?
And believing they already know Him at least as well if not better than the slick, well-dressed TV professionals; carnival hawkers pitching a snake-oil version of God, they aren’t looking in the traditionally right places. Because, face it, most of those places are oh-so-stuffy-and-judgmental, and frankly,…dead.
They know instinctively God must be bigger than that. And so, rejecting the organizational part of religion, they feel themselves adrift, looking for something in the next port, the next experience, the next drug.
They can’t say why they’re pushing every envelope, testing every limit, hopping the fence at every boundary. Like me, they don’t know why they think every door they open, will be THE DOOR of the universe. They just know there must be more to all of this than what the world is selling.
Let me just say, I feel ya!
But sometimes in all your manic searching you can get yourself so inextricably tangled up and lost, that you’re ready to hold out your hands and take a Day-Glo green pamphlet from a hippy chick you’ll never meet again, read it, and like a snake shedding it’s skin, walk away a different person.
The switch clicks, the Light comes on, and you get found by the One who has been holding you in His outstretched hands. And the only appropriate words, even thirty-five years later, are simply, Thank You.
A few years ago, I wrote out this version of my testimony . I re-read it this morning. It could benefit from some edits, and it’s kind of long, but if you have any interest in whether or not Jesus goes to Grateful Dead shows, it’s there for the reading.