Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stones of Remembrance: Hairpin Turn

There are times in life where you think you're heading in one direction. The right direction. You might even refer to it as "being led".

Then something unexpected happens, and suddenly you find your whole direction radically shifting.

Not unlike unexpectedly confronting the sudden appearance of a hairpin turn in the road ahead, leaving you no other option but an adrenaline-empowered course correction that would make Star Trek's Scotty pull his hair out, all the while spouting numerous colourful epithets about your questionable ancestry.

I was minding my own business, at a party held in a church basement for a large gathering of friends (about 50 or so) in Sarnia Ontario. These were an interesting collection of friends of several different faiths, non-faiths, and UFO theorists.

Yes, that Sarnia...

In fact, I had spent the better part of one night -- from roughly midnight until 7:00 AM the next morning -- having an interesting comparative discussion with my buddy Gord about whether or not Adam & Eve were planted on Planet Earth by a race of superior aliens as an experiment. Or maybe God had something to do with it.

However, as I sat in this party, listening to the lively conversations happening all over the crowded room, scanning the familiar faces and the usual energetic ambiance, I was feeling just slightly overwhelmed.

Party not exactly as shown.
These were my friends. And I was one of about three or four Christians in the group. We all hoped to have some kind of positive impact as Christians; we were committed to being respectful and non-confrontational, but we hoped that God would use us in some way to bring our friends to faith.

And I was feeling just a wee bit ill-equipped to really make a difference.

That's when it happened. The hairpin turn out of the fog...

I was enrolled at Lambton College as a Radio, Television & Journalism major. I played bass in a local band. I was just a typical 19-year-old (mostly). I loved my friends. I loved the band I was in. I loved living in Sarnia. And yet, as I sat there in that basement room, I heard God.

Not an audible voice; it's hard to describe what happened exactly. But what I knew that I knew that I knew, was that I was to quit college and go to Bible college instead.

Somehow, I figured out that this might even include -- almost stopped breathing when it hit me -- being a pastor some day.

Don't get me wrong: I liked and respected the pastor at my church.

But I didn't want to be one. (Surely you jest, Lord...)

Right out of nowhere, indeed.

And yet, just like the night when I first became a Christian, "surrender" was my only realistic option.

And another Stone of Remembrance was laid in the road of my journey.

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