I think there are key turning points in our lives. Times when we are headed one direction, but just like that, our sail is shifted. These moments can be good or bad, happy or sad, or even both. But they leave us changed forever.
For Peter and Andrew, this moment happened in an ordinary day while they were fishing and a man came up to them and said “Come, follow me.” (Matthew 4:18-20). Matthew was sitting at the tax collector’s booth when he heard the same call (Matthew 9:9). For many Samaritans, this moment came when a woman told them of what Jesus had done for her (John 4: 39).
Evangelicals make a big to do about this moment, the moment you accepted Jesus as your savior. But to me, this moment always seemed elusive. Sure, sophomore year in college, I told my small group Bible study that I accepted Jesus, and we went for ice cream. But in actuality, I never really could identify a moment when I was “saved”.
Formulas abound in the evangelical church for ways to get people saved – books, tracts, the right questions to ask. I imagine people have good intentions when developing and using these strategies. But to me, it’s all too impersonal and formulaic. And too many seem to use the threat of Hell and allure of Heaven as tools of the trade. These tools have always been off-putting to me.
Lately, I’ve been thinking more about that moment. And I’m starting to think that there is a moment in time I can identify when my path shifted, and I heard His call. At a camp where I went to learn about science after graduating high school. There, I met a boy who told me about Jesus and about how He wanted to know me personally. I had always believed in Jesus, finding comfort in sacraments like communion in the Catholic church. But the idea that Jesus could know me and that I could walk with Him was compelling. This friend was not pushy, just shared his own faith saying that he thought that I would like it too.
And that, that was my turning point, the time when I started following Jesus. Yes, I didn’t quite know Him as intimately as I do now. But I started seeking to know Him. And isn’t that the point? My path was turned towards Him.
Did the disciples really know Jesus when they started following Him? No, they walked in faith.
Did they have the proper theology and understanding of Jesus? No, they learned as they went, often needing to be corrected.
Friends, today, keep walking your journey. It’s okay not to have it all figured out. But don’t stop seeking, don’t stop following, don’t stop resting in His love for you.
And if you’ve never heard about Jesus wanting to walk alongside you, I invite you today to think about it. I know I’ve found richness in walking alongside Him, and you may too.