I am a Christian. A lot of my family and and friends are Christians. There are 2.18 billion Christians worldwide. That is a lot of people. But why do so many people call themselves a Christian? Have you ever spent time asking yourself that question? I think it’s a pretty important question to not only ponder, but to have an answer. Here is a little of my story answering this very important question.
I grew up in a home where everyone believed in God. We were taught to treat people with respect. To love our neighbors. And don’t you ever take the Lord’s name in vain. But we did not attend church on a regular basis. Not that my parents had anything against church. We just did not make it a priority. My brother and I were baptized at the local Baptist Church as children. I considered myself a Christian at that time, but could really not tell you why. That started changing in 1985.
I graduated from Twin Lakes High School in 1984. Yes, I am that old. After high school, I was not really sure what I wanted for the rest of my life. Then in 1985, a group of cheerleaders from my old high school were involved in a terrible car accident on their way home from a competition. Several were injured and one young lady was tragically killed. I did not know this young lady very well, but I knew her. Her father was actually one of my middle school teachers. We called it Junior High back in the day. That accident rocked a lot of people. Including myself. At Debbie’s funeral several people shared how short life was and how were we choosing to live it. I walked away from that funeral with a lot of questions. How was I living my life? Was my life making a difference?
Several months later, I truly accepted Jesus into my life and was baptized. I wish I could tell you that I turned away from my old life and everything was full of sunshine from that day on. Sadly that was not the case. For several years, I walked in between my old life and my new life in Jesus. Then one of the greatest things in my life happened. My parents moved away from West Palm Beach, FL. Wait. What?
In 1988, my parents house was bought by the airport and they decided to move away from West Palm Beach. At the time, I was attending Palm Beach Atlantic University and living at home. With my parents moving, I decided to move on campus. A life changing decision. I was blessed to have some great roommates in Tim Tate, Ben Starling, Pedro Linares and Bruce Speers. They were patient with this young guy who had a lot of questions about faith. Besides my roommates, Tim Moffett Jennifer Vaughn, Julie Tyler and Babs Tate decided to pour life into me. Never any judgement. Just a lot of understanding and a bunch of grace. It was during that year that I fully surrendered my whole life to Jesus. I have been far from perfect since making that decision, but I have continued to seek after Jesus.
Today as I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, I am grateful for those people who built into me all those years ago. They helped me become the person God created me to be. Thank you.
Because I saw firsthand people living out their faith and sharing it with me. Because I have seen God use a broken person (me), to help encourage many as I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey. The only answer I have for any of that is Jesus. That is why I am a Christian. ~OC