In February 1990 my life changed forever.
I became convinced that Christianity - not that I even began to understand it - is true.
I converted, became a Christian, "born again". I "prayed the prayer".
This year I've had to reject many of the bases of my Christianity. And that's led me to have to question everything else about my faith, about religion, and about spirituality. I've had to question whether the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, really is good news, and if it is good news then of what that news consists.
And so I look back on that conversion event, February 1990, in a room in Bradford with a couple of friends I lost contact with many years ago. I felt greatly joyful and peaceful by the end of that night. Secure that Jesus really was and is alive and part of present day life.
Recently I've had to ask: did I meet God or just psychology? The inner jury is still out. But the question has been posed. And I believe 2014 will see me drawn to answers that surprise me, perhaps answers that I have not before been able to contemplate as valid.
So, a few thoughts on my conversion:
An initiating prayer.
Into overwhelming peace.
A securing place.
Convictions of certitude -
Was it God releasing me?
Or did I release myself?
Was new freedom mine, or divine?
What wisdom was I embracing?
Just a God who agreed with me
That I was broken, stained, full of wrong?
So did I meet the joy of Spirit
Or the joy of being proved right?
Did I encounter the love of a saviour
Or the love of a broken home?
Was fire life given from above
or ignited from martyred mind, hater heart?
On that night all was clear:
Clarity of a thoughtless mind and satisfied heart.
Initiating prayer became crazy hope
God reaching out to man, or so it seemed.
Or was I reaching out by reaching in?
Self-trickery for moments of bliss.
More lost when securely found.