Fascinating . .
Updated: Jul 13, 2021
I went to see a life-long friend that I hadn’t seen in 5 years or so. He was my favorite playmate when I was young, and his mother probably the greatest Christian influence in my life. In our early twenties we drifted apart after I came to faith in Christ and our early discussions of religion became increasingly combative. He actually drove for an hour one time just to argue against Christ. We drifted apart socially, but I’d see him at family reunions or funerals, but the elephant in the room called “Christianity” made it uncomfortable. I had heard that he was in poor health, and since we both are getting older I reluctantly gave in to the inner voice badgering me to go visit him. My plan was to not discuss religion unless he brought it up. We’d just make small talk, play some old Beatle songs on our guitars and I could let him know I loved him before we never saw each other again. Well, how do you think that went? Exactly. It went pretty well ‘til we neared the end of our visit. He wanted to know about my Israel trip. After some uncomfortable political ranting over the current president and a glancing blow at religion that nearly got out of control, we shared a real, genuine hug, and I headed home. It took me a day or two of depression to sort out the matter. The gulf between my best childhood friend and I remains to this day. It began when I believed in Jesus. Believing in Jesus has spread outward from my conquered heart to my politics, hobbies, my music and my writing. I cannot discuss any serious subject for very long without returning to the Bible, for scripture is truth. The gulf between us is impassable. I cannot get over to where he is. I've tried! And he cannot get over to where I am. We both feel it, and feel badly about it.
I don’t think Christians appreciate the miracle it takes to believe in Jesus. I’ve said before that we can force ourselves to do things we don’t really want to do if we have enough motivation. We can obey the speed limit if a policeman is following us, or take out the garbage so the wife will quit complaining. But we can’t make ourselves like it. How do you like something you don’t like? You cannot. It’s impossible. How does a Man quit being a man? Or how does a cat quit being a cat?Those of us who love Jesus did not always love Him. We were changed. For those who tell themselves that they will believe in Jesus when they get good and ready (like I did) it’s far worse than you thought. It’s not simply that you don’t choose Jesus . . you don’t WANT to believe in Jesus. How do you fix that? You can't save you. Only God can save you.
You made me love you I didn't want to do it I didn't want to do it You made me want you And all the time you knew it I guess you always knew it
. . Al Jolson