Looking back, it seems quite normal to have been born “about” twenty-four years of age. But in another sense very little changed. I had all the memories of the first twenty-four years of life, but now I had the realisation of God’s presence; God was well and truly part of my life. Indeed a relationship with God was no longer a distant hope, it was now a reality. Having said that, I can’t really remember when exactly it all happened—and I know that’s a common experience. All I know was that “about” the age of twenty-four I was born into God’s kingdom.
Now to start with very little changed. Yes, I got the urge to worship God, and on a regular basis. I also found the need to learn more about him. But much of my life continued on as though nothing much had changed. Indeed work continued on as usual, and my relationship with my family and friends didn’t change much either.
However little by little things did change. Because bit by bit I became increasing dissatisfied with the work that had previously engaged me so well. Indeed I loved work—it was the thing that kept me going; working as an insurance broker I found engaging and fulfilling. And that was particular so in an age where the old practices were falling away, and where new innovative ways of providing cover were coming into favour. Nevertheless slowly but surely I began to lose interest. Furthermore, my interest in climbing the rungs of success with the company that I worked for, slowly ceased to be a priority.
Now although I cannot pinpoint a particular day or time when this all happened, I can look back and acknowledge that it did occur. Looking back now, the change was obvious. Church became far more important than work, and a relationship with God became far more important that climbing the rungs of success.
It’s not surprising then to look back and to remember getting into the habit of attending church every Sunday without fail. And indeed, even though I was probably too old, joining a youth group, that met in the Rectory on Sunday nights, so I could get that additional teaching.
However, about twelve months after having become a Christian, I returned to what had been my homeland for a four week holiday. It was Christmas time, and it was the one time of the year that my mother was likely to see one of her siblings. As a family we had never seen much of our uncles and aunts. But this particular Christmas we visited an uncle and aunt who lived at a Theological college, where my uncle was a lecturer. Now my family had visited them there on several occasions, and the college had always intrigued me. So much so that I had always wanted to go on a tour of the college, but each time had always gone home disappointed.
Imagine my surprise, then, when this particular year—either on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, I can’t remember—I was invited on a personal tour. Not the rest of the family, just me alone. I was delighted. But as we went around something happened. Indeed I noticed the feeling of how at home I felt in the college. So much so that when we got to the chapel, near the end of the tour, I knew where I was going and what I was supposed to be. Not necessarily at this theological college, but at a theological college. My work was not to be insurance, but as an ordained minister of God.
So early in the new year, I returned home not knowing how it would happen, or where it would happen, or when it would happen. But I did know the distinct direction that God intended me to take.
To be continued …
Posted: 12th August 2016
© 2016, Brian A Curtis