Posts tagged ‘Eltham Wildcats’

June 13, 2012

Only One Life to Live

At the age of 15 I had heard of the person of Jesus but I didn’t really get what He was all about. At the time I was one of the most unpopular students at the private girls high school I attended and in my desperate need for company I attended a lunchtime Christian group meeting. They won me over with a competition to see how many TV snack biscuits you could shove in your mouth. I won – 14! I can’t even remember if there was a prize such was the GLORY of the moment.

During the next school holiday break a couple of the girls who attended the Christian group invited me to attend basketball camp. My mother was more than happy to get rid of me so off I went. I loved basketball and played regularly for the Eltham Wildcats. The difference with this group was that they would ‘pray’ at the beginning of the match to ask God to help them win the game. You could see the other team huddled around doing the same thing. Screw that, I thought, I was going to show God that we didn’t need his help.  My future nickname in basketball became ‘Tank’.

At the end of the school holiday’s someone invited me to join the youth group at Diamond Valley Baptist Church. I only said yes because the boys were cute. I had no interest in the God part and for the better part of a year I attended both the Friday night youth service and the Sunday night evening service. I would leave the service during the sermon to go outside and have a smoke. I remember at one Friday night youth service sneaking into the Pastors office during a game of ‘Murder in the Dark’ and making out with a boy under the desk. I was a naughty girl.

One night,  in the July of 1984, just weeks before my sixteenth birthday they had a guest speaker visit. I didn’t leave the service that night as the was very compelling right from the first moment.  I was captivated by his account of the life of Jesus and how He had lived  and I was  enthralled with the re-telling of His miraculous exploits. His torture and death on the cross bought hot tears to my eyes and I was moved by the biblical account of these events.  At the end of the sermon I was completely overwhelmed with the implications of what the life and sacrifice of Jesus meant for me personally. I had been presented with a problem of which Jesus had put forward the only solution.  I couldn’t escape the choice that had been laid out before me. We only have one life to live here on Earth…..would I accept the gift of eternal life Jesus was offering me and then live that life with meaning and purpose as He had? I became very uncomfortable with these thoughts and questions. What was happening to me?

The speaker asked if there was anyone in the room that wanted to ask Jesus into their life. I thought I was going to have a heart attack my heart was beating that quickly. I wanted to go up but no-one else was moving. I was not walking up to the front with everyone staring at the back of my head. The room was very quiet as the speaker just let the question hang in the air a little longer. As the speaker brought things to a close I started  feeling safe again and ever so smugly challenged God with  ‘I’ll go up if one other person goes up’. It was as if what I had been thinking was then played through an earpiece to the speaker as he then decided to wait a little longer for people to respond. I wanted to yell out ‘give up mate no one is coming up!!’.  The air in the room had become thick with awkwardness. I felt so sorry for the speaker. He begged the ‘Christians’ in the room to pray for those that did not know the Lord. The two girls from my high school who had asked me to come to basketball camp and had invited me to come to church had their heads down – I knew they were praying for me. I almost laughed out aloud because I knew their prayers were useless even though my heart was racing. Mr Awkward would not let this thing go and I wanted to smack him down. I was screaming in my head ‘LET IT GO’.

Suddenly without warning there was some movement over on the left hand side of the room. A young boy about 8 years old started to walk down to the front of the room. In a matter of probably a second I stood up too and as I did at least 50 other people did as well. There was barely room to spit up the front as it was so packed. I could not have cared less. That night I saw the one life I had lived in my mind. I could see this massive pile of rubbish with this sign right on the top with my name on it. My life, thus far, had been nothing but a big pile of garbage. I asked Jesus to forgive me for the life I had lived and I accepted the payment He had made for me on the cross and I asked Him to come and live inside my heart and at that I saw this rain fall on the garbage dump and just wash it all away. In my mind’s eye I stood with the sign in my hands that had my name on it, cleaner than clean. Sparkling new. It was like that first shower you have after you‘ve been camping for a week. I knew immediately that I was different and that something had changed. I remember telling my mum that night that I had become a Christian. She said to me something like ‘we’ll see if that lasts.’ In just a few weeks’ time it will be almost 28 years since that day. I think it is safe to say it’s lasted and will continue to last till the day I breathe my last breath.

I’m His. Forever.

What about you? Where are you at in your life? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving your life over to Jesus. He loves you. Maybe your heart is beating a little too fast and you’re very uncomfortable with where your thoughts and feelings have taken you. Unlike me you can just get up and walk away from the computer but God will not forget the reaction you are having and He will come after you with the full force of His love. Often there is a fierce battle for our heart as other parties are loath to relinquish their hold on our life.  Don’t run away, you’ve been doing that your whole life. Give Jesus a chance and trust Him with your heart and let Him clean you from the inside out. It’s never too late.  There is nothing you’ve done that Jesus hasn’t already forgiven you for.  He laid down the one life He had, just for you. Make your life count too!

If you would like me to pray for you or with you then email me on:

blogsidebyside@gmail.com

Over and Out,

Catherine xo

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