I was at Journey weekend (a retreat for youth) at Sagemont Church in Houston, Texas.Clayton King was the speaker. Spur 58 the band. The theme of the weekend was the passion of Jesus. I don’t remember the name of it (each weekend had it’s own name) I do remember the skits. I remember the railroad spikes we held as reminders of the crucification. I remember the giant, strong thorn branches we touched, imagining them being crushed in. I remember hearing about the cat-of-nine-tails and seeing the various depictions of martyrs, the powerful, beautiful messages.
I remember all of this touching me deeper than the story of Jesus’ death had ever touched me before, but still thinking he was just a good example. An amazing example, by all these standards.
But not God.
Until that night.
It was the night of the day I learned you were supposed to read the Bible on your own.
And the night of January 20, 2001, the typical “go time” for alter calls, Clayton laid down the game changer.
God had used that weekend, had used the weeks coming up to it, had cultivated in me a heart ready to hear the truth.
That Jesus did not just die for me.
That he came back to life
And is still living
And now he LIVES for me. He is my strength and my salvation.
And suddenly what seemed errant, what seemed like polytheism, what seemed all just a little crazy
Became true. And not just true, but TRUTH.
Jesus was no longer a liar, a lunatic, or just often misquoted,
He became my LORD.
And by the grace of the triune God: Father, Son, Spirit, I have loved him since.
Today is the 10 year anniversary of the moment I fell in love with my eternal, first love.