by Roger S Nelson
These three related scenes are from my 2nd (unpublished) book Love Was When. This humorous adventure/romance is about a man who goes on a horse back riding trip across Michigan.
After a while they walked back to the campsite, feeling clean and refreshed. Doug got out his cribbage board and they played a few games, casually, spending more time talking than playing. He’d been thinking all day about connecting with God. He was on this trip to connect with others, why not God?
"Jay," he said, "Bill talked about connecting with God this morning. I guess that means you become a friend of God and God becomes your friend. He said that you do it through Jesus, His son. I went to ask him about it this afternoon, and he said that the Spirit of Jesus will come and live in you. There are a lot of things I don’t understand. I suppose I could take a chance on this. If I asked Jesus to live in me, and He did, if I decided I didn’t like it, I could tell Him to get lost, couldn’t I? Or if Jesus isn’t real and I asked Him to live with me, then nothing would actually happen anyway, right? So I could try it out? Like trying on a pair of shoes, if they don’t fit, I put them back and no harm done?"
"I guess you could. Sometimes shoes don’t fit real good at first, but the longer you wear them, the better they feel. Jesus is like a pair of shoes that never wears out, they just get more comfortable as time goes on. I can’t say that I know anyone who actually asked Him out once He was in. But He would never leave you unless you asked Him to."
"I admit, I can’t understand everything about this. But I’ve seen some mighty fine people, you, Bill, and some others, who give me a good recommendation for these shoes. Sometimes I go to a movie because friends recommend it, or try a certain brand of foot, or buy a game, like cribbage. Being the grasshopper that I am, I could never understand everything about God anyway. I think this is something I’d have to try on the advice of a friend, without knowing everything. Many times I’ve gone to a movie because someone said it was good, even though I didn’t actually know the plot."
"That’s called faith, Doug. And it does take faith to trust Christ."
"One thing I didn’t ask Bill, how do I do it?"
"The gospel is pretty simple. Christ died for our sins. That means everyone’s, yours and mine too. Our sins broke the connection with God. But Jesus paid the penalty for them on the cross, by dying. Because the penalty is paid, the connection can be re-established. Jesus was resurrected, and because He lives, we have a way to re-connect. All you have to do is ask. You can talk to God right here. He’s everywhere, you know, not just in a church building. Just tell Him, He’ll hear you. Just tell God that you'd like to connect with Him and invite Him in. Tell Him that you love Him for what He has done and that you'd like to live for and with Him. It's that simple."