From a Hedonist to a believer…
All my life I have known about “God”, but what was God? To some I spoke with, He was an energy and an essence that we could become one with. Okay, too weird for me. For another, He was nature personified. Somehow that didn’t seem right either. To yet others, He was a higher power we could simply not understand. Even though it never made sense, it seemed like the best and most logical explanations especially since there were so many religions out there, who could know?
When I was 13, I got into the heavy metal movement of the eighties and early nineties. It was also about sex, alcohol, and rock and roll for me. Nothing but a good time is what my entire philosophy was; yet I could never shake an impending sense of doom. What I mean is this, if I died, I knew I was going to hell. I would then rationalize it away thinking I was crazy and I was a good person. After all, I never killed anyone, never committed any grand crime against humanity, and never raped anyone. All in all, I was a good person so surely God would accept me, whoever He was. Woman after woman, encounter after encounter, binge drinking after binge drinking I would keep telling myself this but eventually the sense of doom would always come back to haunting me.
“I just need to get out of this rut that I am in,” I thought to myself as I was living in Pennsylvania. My parents had just moved to Texas so I thought, they want me to move with them, why not do so? Probably would find better women in Texas anyway. I was right, the women were prettier and I had many more illicit encounters and more alcohol than I thought possible before. Yet, I could not shake the sense of doom still! If nothing else, it intensified. Again, I just need to get out of where I was living; it was oppressive for me…filled with those stinking Christians (though I used a more vulgar term then).
I needed a more liberal environment…so I thought Austin, Texas! What a better place to go and a better music scene too…remember the heavy metal thing? Anyway, this was in 1992 I was planning all this when instead of focusing on my coursework at the community college so I could have the GPA to transfer, I bombed the Fall semester which lowered my GPA below what I needed. Well, I had to get out from where I was so I decided on a different school that required a much lower GPA to transfer. In August of 1993 it was off to Denton, Texas I went.
It was pretty cool, more liberal, lots of people with my mindset. Things couldn’t be greater, I mean I also had all my centerfolds in my dorm closet; I even had my nude women to gawk at! You guessed it; the sense of doom was greater than ever! How was I ever going to shake this? Okay, I thought, I will get a Bible and read it and see what nonsense it really is! As you can sense maybe already it never happened. I even almost had my first threesome that semester! I was sinking lower and lower into depravity.
My friend Kevin also introduced something else new to me, marijuana. Tried it twice that semester though it did nothing for me. He suggested something more potent, something I could have a lot more fun with. LSD, or acid is what some people referred it to. He said he would have to call some of his contacts but that it would take a week or two…okay, is what I said.
Then one night, which sat on the edge of eternity, Kevin and I were having a discussion in his room about his involvement with witchcraft. He called himself a warlock. I asked what a warlock was, I had seen a movie bearing the name but was not certain of what one was. Basically a male version of a witch, there was white magic and black magic. I asked him the difference. One is used for good another for evil, pretty basic. Then we got to talking about spells he used. I asked if he used spells on women to lure them into having sex with him. He said yes, he had many times and it was successful. I would have believed it too with his track record in the past since I had met him. I said, “I want to learn that too…”
Uh-oh, here we go you may be thinking. But this is where it gets EXTREMELY interesting.
He said, “No you don’t.” I said, “Of course, I do, that would be awesome!” I was just imagining the possibilities. He said, “No you don’t because I shouldn’t even be doing it.” I asked him what he meant by that, he said, “Well I was raised in the church.” “So what,” I said not knowing what the Lord has to say about such people. “Well, I was raised believing that Jesus died for my sins and that He rose from the dead. By believing that, I always believed I had eternal life,” He told me.
You want to talk about something that hit a nerve!!! I asked Kevin everything I possibly could. This was something I could really think and ponder about! This was something more alluring than I had ever heard before; this actually made perfect, 100%, crystal clear sense to me!!! What happened after that night? I actually did go out to buy a Bible and I did read it. The book of John was the first I had ever read.
Though he has now come into disrepute, I also listened to Mike Warnke’s Christian comedy tapes he made back in the eighties and early nineties. His portions talking about how to become saved polarized it for me. Reading the Bible plus the practical application of how to receive Him from Warnke was enough.
On November 19, 1993 at around 2am in my dorm room for the third time…I had prayed to receive Jesus into my life as Lord and Savior. I am not one to expound on my emotional experiences but I had one that night that was incredible. It was as if Jesus had hugged me tight and that I knew I was 100% forgiven with the Lord. No more impending sense of doom. Though I feel very unworthy and I fall sometimes (okay a lot) I get right back up and begin to serve Him again.
I also prayed for a wife in December of 1993, it took a while but He finally gave me one. I married her on March 2 of 2002! She is such a godly woman and I never could have asked for a better woman to spend my days with!
I think back to what could have been if Jesus had not intervened that night in Kevin’s dorm room. I might possibly be dead from a drug overdose and in hell right now paying for my own sins that I had committed against the Lord. Instead, I looked and totally trusted in Jesus and that He had paid for my sins in his holy blood that day almost two thousand years ago. The hand of eternity had touched the fabric of time and allowed His blood to be spilled when it was mine that should have been spilled. The infinite touch the hand of the finite man that is myself and turned him into an infinite child of God who will live with Him forever.
And now, I could sing of His love forever! Oh yes, I could sing of His love forever!