I was brought up in a non-Christian home, and although my mother was a Roman Catholic, she had stopped attending chapel after her marriage. But to give her her due, she did what she thought was right by having me and my three brothers baptised into the Catholic Church, and although I was not a pupil at a Catholic school, she saw to it that I took religious instructions and took first communion at about 10 years old. That was my total religious involvement at that time.
It wasn’t till I was in my mid-thirties that the issue of religion came up, and this was through walking at lunch times with a workmate who attended the Church of Scotland, and was quite involved with the Sunday School and BB’s, and who kept telling me that I should start going to church and get involved.
Although my wife, Janette, went to church, I never dreamt of asking her for her Bible to read, but after a while, this workmate gave me a Bible. I started to read it as you would any book, from page one, but found it difficult to understand, so I soon stopped.
All this time there was no change in my outlook to life – it was a case of eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die, which I suppose is the philosophy of most folk today. I would, however, drop Janette off at church and pick her up some Sundays but would never venture in myself. One time I experienced an unexplainable urge to go too. I was up early the next Sunday morning expecting to go, but for whatever reason, Janette wasn’t going that particular Sunday.
The next Sunday I was up again determined to accompany Janette to church. That was the start of my Christian involvement, and for the next three weeks it was as if there was only the minister and me in the church, because everything he said seemed to be directed at me. On reflection I would say that it was at this time God started his work in me.
As I attended church regularly, read my Bible and other Christian books, together with the encouragement of Janette, my understanding of who God is and what he has done for us in his Son Jesus Christ grew, and my faith deepened.
Through coming to know God, my life has changed in so many ways. It now has true purpose and direction because of Jesus. The main purpose of my life now is to live in obedience to God in gratitude for the way he has changed the direction of my life from being under his anger and punishment because of my sins, to now enjoying his love and security in the hope of heaven through forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ.