Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Journey...

I wasn't doing much last night...just cruisin' the internet, looking at blogs and websites and photos, etc. I felt that I should write something in my own blog, but nothing came to mind. Not that my mind was empty, mind you ...just that I had no photos to share and nothing struck me as 'blogworthy', as Tammy says. WELL, when I was on my way to bed last night, a thought hit me and it was a true 'duh' moment. I have something very important to write! YAY! It was still on my mind this morning when I awoke, so I knew I had to sit down and put my thoughts to this blog. I wondered if I should share this...not trying to proselytize here, but it truly is an important part of me and I feel compelled to set these words down. Besides, this is MY blog and it is here for me to share, to publish my thoughts...right?

My intention is pure...my desire is to share what is in my heart. So, now that I have your attention, here we go!

Like so many people around me, I am busy and don't always find time to do the things I know I should do. Like go to church. Well, heck...let's start in believe in God! I do, but how much time have I actually thought about Him? Raised a Catholic, I married a divorced man and consequently joined the Lutheran faith. I did my part...baptized my boys, took them to church and Sunday School, joined the choir, and even taught Sunday School. I felt I was doing what I should be doing. But, was that enough? Going to church on Sunday gave each week the perfect start. Going to church was what we did...what our friends did...it was a habit more than anything. Of course it had meaning! Of course I believed the messages we were given by Pastor Hansen! Of course, I thought that I was a good person and that I would go to heaven someday! BUT, funny thing (well, actually, not so funny)...God did not truly live in my heart throughout the rest of the week. I had no Bible...I really did not give God much thought on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday...let alone put him first in my life. Oh, I guess I thought about Him when I sat down to plan my Sunday School lesson...but I was teaching the 3 year old class, so the concepts were fairly simple.

As time went by, I became a single mom. I still believed, I still went to church. Then one day, I moved away from my church...here to Madison. Finding a church in my new city was on my list of things to do...one that I have actually still never crossed off.

Let's skip ahead several years to the year 2006, and suffice it to say that in those previous 16 years, several things happened in my life that were good and many that were not so good. I do believe that things happen for a reason, though I am not always sure what the reasoning is. I still believed that there was a God...I still believed that I was a 'good' person...and that one day, I would actually follow through and start going to church again.

Okay, so I procrastinated. And didn't think about it...OR God, either, for that matter. I know a woman at work...I truly admire her! She used to take her lunch hour at a desk close by mine...within my view. I noticed that she always prayed and that her reading material was, well, religious stuff. Then, I noticed that there was one day each week that she didn't eat...I asked her about it. She told me that she had asked God what she could do for Him and that His answer was that she fast one day a week. Though I was a bit skeptical (yeah, me!), I knew it was her belief and I so admired her for that.

Around the same time, I started chatting with Brenis online via instant messages...every once in a while, she said something about being a Christian and shared some thoughts with me. I never had much to say in return. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I do remember that at Easter, last year, I told Bren that I wanted to talk with her about being a Christian. I had been moved by thoughts of the significance of Easter and felt badly that I had no true faith. Since that time, we've had many interesting chats on what being a Christian is all about.

I bought a Bible and started reading it. I started praying. I started looking for a church. And, then I faltered. Okay, I did more than falter...I simply wasn't strong enough to resist the pull backward...away from God. I started drifting...didn't have time...didn't know where to go to church. I still believed, I still prayed, I still praised God for the good things in my life. I still knew when I had a 'God' moment. But, APPARENTLY, I was missing the tappings on my shoulder, the hits on the head, the "hey you!" moments I was receiving from God.

As an avid reader, I am at the library all of the time. Mostly, I search out books in the library's database on the computer and put requests in for those I want to read from the long list of authors that are my favorites. When the books are available, the library sends an email and I stop at the library to pick up those books. The reason I'm explaining this is so that you know I generally don't 'browse' the shelves when I'm in the library. There's a reason for your need to know this.

Here it is...one day I went into the library to pick up a book by a new author. I wasn't sure how much I would like his writing, so decided to see what was on the 'new book' shelf. And, as I just mentioned, this is something I almost NEVER do. Right away, my eyes were drawn to a book called, "The Rapture". I read the synopsis and thought it'd be an interesting read. Boy, did I NOT have a clue! I know what rapture means...and I know that, as a Christian, this is something that I look forward to...it's the time when Jesus comes down to take us back to heaven with Him. I guess, though, that I thought it was more of a novel...well, it is...okay, I confess, I don't remember what I thought it was...but I surely didn't think it was what it turned out to be! I had absolutely NO idea that this book was based on Bible teachings...or, more importantly, that it was going to have such an impact on me.

What it is...an interpretation of one man's idea of what the Rapture will be like. How it will be for those who are 'raptured'. How it will affect those who are 'left behind'. Which, by the way, is the name of a series of books that I am devouring! The book, "The Rapture", is actually one of three that are prequels to the LEFT BEHIND series. Tim LaHaye is the man who conceived the series...Jerry Jenkins is the man who wrote them. As it says in the book, these are 'Christian thrillers', 'prophecy-based fiction'...whatever you wish to call them. I call them AWE INSPIRING!

Little did I know the impact reading these books would have on me. I am a re-born again Christian...not a zealot, a fanatic...but I truly am 'back in the faith' (and yes, that IS like being 'back in the saddle').

I am eager to learn...to read the passages from the Bible that are quoted in the books...to feel that God is with me and I with Him. I am now on the 3rd book of the series and am absolutely riveted! The books are fairly simple to read and I am reading as much as I can...I feel as if I am devouring these books! I need to know what happens next! Mind you, these stories are fictional, but the basis of them is real. After all, we're talking about God, His Son Jesus Christ...and the people who are left behind to go through (literally) hell before they are given a second chance to leave this earth with Jesus when he reappears.

I encourage you to read these books. After all, I want all of my friends and family in heaven with me...I don't want any of you left behind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was quite a blog entry!!! That is awesome that you feel these things. Each time I read my Tidings / newsletter from St. Bede's I feel a pull to go there & pray at the chapel on my next trip to Wisconsin, but I never have. Joyce

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