I don’t know where it came from, but it finally arrived. In fact, I think it has always been there, though I chose to ignore it. But it was there. And it was real. I am talking about something that exists in all of us, believer or not, born-again or not. It is the desire to live for something greater than ourselves. The need to worship. The yearning for something out of this world. Something more powerful, more important than we are. It is what keeps us going. Something that sets the standards and the stage. What gives our life meaning and a purpose. This is God calling us. It is God drawing us and nudging us, the chosen, towards Him.
I realized that I had a desire to worship. I acknowledged the existence of a supernatural being that held everything together. Everything on earth that I thought would sustain and satisfy me had let me down. Wealth had dumped me. Fame had worn me out and the search for approval had grown stale. I never contemplated alcohol or drugs (all by Grace, now in hindsight). I guess my need was more intellectual than emotional. No philosophy could make my mind content. No. This world just didn’t have the answers.
Dissatisfying relationships had taught me that I needed something more solid than human affection.
Broken friendships had birthed the need to have a more permanent fellowship.
A shaky family showed me that I needed more than my earthly father’s approval.
I needed more.
I needed justification.
I needed freedom, TRUE freedom.
I needed love, REAL LOVE.
I needed to get a life, TRUE LIFE.
I needed Jesus.
So when my friend Victor Motari came by my house as usual on that Thursday afternoon, I sensed that this would be an unusual visit. We had been friends for four years, through-out high-school in fact. But we were always different. He was more out-going and out-spoken while I was more reserved.
I almost missed it when it happened. But I am so glad I didn’t. You see…
While he partied late into the night, I practiced refrain.
While he raved with friends, I resorted to reading Shakespeare.
While he clubbed, I closeted myself in philosophy books and poetry
While he danced to rap songs, I memorized Eminem lyrics.
We were always different.
But I guess I never noticed it, until almost too late.
When Victor’s party-nights shifted to prayer-nights, Cornell still locked himself in his room.
When his raving shifted from K-2 to K-Rave, I was still stuck with Shakespeare.
When he stopped clubbing and joined bible clubs, I was still immersed in philosophy books.
When he switched from listening to Krazie-bone to bumping to T-bone, I had acquired the nick-name Tupac.
What changed? He was born again. Somewhere along the dramatic life of his, he had encountered Christ. But I didn’t buy it until that December Thursday. I didn’t buy it until he shared with me about this Jesus. The Jesus I never knew. The Jesus who came and died for the sins of the world, for my sins.
I got born again, because I believed the Gospel my friend shared with me. I got born again because my friend, Victor, dared to believe that I could believe. Monta, your name will forever be remembered in Heaven’s hall of Fame, because you just didn’t tell me about Jesus. You showed me Jesus.
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked (John 3:9)
Perhaps that’s all someone needs today.
They need you to trust in the Grace that saved the wretch that was you,
They need you to accept that they can accept your message,
They need you to believe that they can believe.
Share the Gospel with your friends today, and leave aside the Junk.
[Written in 2009]
For the fame of God’s name,