I was converted in my mid-twenties, sometime late 2002. I know many people know the day and the hour of their conversion as a Christian. I think that is so cool, but that wasn’t quite the way it happened with me. God’s grace was ultimately irresistible, but I resisted to the point of exhaustion. I think fatigue played a prominent role in why I was converted.
Actually, the way I remember it, I was in college at the time, but not terribly focused on academics, and a cute girl invited me to a Bible study that she and some friends were hosting. Even though this context, a Bible study, wasn’t my cup of tea and I had different motives, I decided to give it a shot.
Everything about my life changed as a result.
What I experienced was a group of people who were a lot like me in many ways, but radically different than me in some very core areas. These people lived with a sense of confidence and joy that was different than what I experienced. They weren’t prideful, mind you, rather they were quite humble. But they lived with a sense of purpose that was more than personal ambition and running the rat race. I was intrigued.
Once a week for a number of months I sat in that room and was able to hear teaching on some fundamental truths about the Christian faith, and I was able to ask questions in a safe context where the others would do their best to satisfy my unending, and at times, antagonistic questions. At some point everything just made sense to me. It wasn’t that I had concrete answers for everything, but more and more the plausibility of what I was hearing and reading became sufficient for me.
Actually, I realized that it was something about the fellowship and peace that these folks enjoyed that was incredibly attractive to me. My interests began to change and my longings were answered as I spent time reading the Bible, praying, singing, and enjoying life with this group of believers. Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection became an all-consuming obsession to me.
My life has been forever changed as a result.
Fast forward a bunch of years, and I am still sitting in these types of contexts. Right now our church is hosting a group, The Bridge Course, and it’s a similar setting to that Bible study I enjoyed back in 2002. Every Saturday morning we have a group of people, some Christians and some skeptics, who get together over coffee and cinnamon rolls to hear teaching and discuss some of the deepest and hardest questions of life.
Our discussions are framed around age-old quandaries like, “How can God allow suffering?” “Why doesn’t God just forgive everyone?” and “Can we really trust the Bible?”
It’s a safe context to ask anything. I can’t guarantee all your questions will be answered. But it just might change your life.