It took me a life time to find Jesus.
That’s probably because it took me a lifetime to start looking.
I spent a lot of years looking around in churches trying to figure out what the other people were doing there? A lot of years before I started looking for Jesus.
According to a family bible that somehow got left in my possession at the end of a marriage, my wife was baptized in 1976.
Even though my name isn’t in there, I feel certain that I too was baptized that same day.
This was one of the churches that demanded people be dunked in there particular church with their particular creed or be sentenced by God to go to a place where all people in disagreement with them gnash teeth.
That just never sounded like somewhere I would like to go, so I am sure I was baptized in their, our, church for the second time in my life.
We had been married for a number of years, had 3 children, and I decided we needed to be going to church.
I have been to, and involved in, countless churches since then, but this was the only congregation of people who called themselves a church who unabashedly displayed their love.
As a matter of fact I think they may be the only large group of people calling them self a church who knew the love of God, that I have ever been associated with.
There were no clicks. Not because there were rules against clicks, but because when you walk in the love of God, everyone is a brother and sister.
The only church I have ever been a part of that didn’t form clicks.
I was 29 years old in 1976, and had no clue what I was supposed to do in church, but I sure did like the love, real fellowship, and being a part of a 200 member family that accepted us with open arms.
I sold Schlitz beer to supermarkets, grocery stores, and beer joints for a living. It made half of my living. I stole the other half.
I drank freely most days. I was getting drunk on a regular basis, fighting, getting driving under the influence tickets, wrecking cars and beer trucks, abusing my wife physically, emotionally, and verbally, and was a whore-monger.
That was the only life I knew about, it was my life. I didn’t have any other life to carry to church with me. No other knowledge of a way or method to live life.
But I was smart enough to know that my life didn’t fit church life.
That is the time in life that I began to live two distinct lives.
One I made up the best I could for my church family. The other, my real existence on earth.
I considered us to be faithful members, but certainly never let meetings get in the way of going hunting, fishing, or wearing off a hangover.
Our family went to church when it was convenient, loved the people, loved the meetings, loved the food.
I went to Sunday school, and men’s meetings, I tried to decipher something, anything, from all of that “stuff” in my bible: I never did.
I didn’t get the point?
The only thing about Jesus that I knew was that he had been nailed to a cross, and we ate his body and drank his blood every Sunday morning.
Life went on.