I was brought up without God. As a child, I had no religious learning from my parents. For most of my life I was an atheist. Everywhere I looked, whether in the culture, in media, in society, I saw atheism. I learnt that the concept of God was a strange ideology believed by backward people who would soon die out. I never knew an alternative. The fact I am writing this today, to me at least, is astonishing.
How did I, an avowed atheist, become an avowing Christian? Did I wake up one morning and realize that I was a believer? It wasn’t as simple as that.
Think of my journey as a long road, one that was rocky, windy and difficult. My journey began about a decade ago. For reasons I don’t quite understand, I began to question everything. Finally one day I asked the one question that started my journey in earnest: ‘What is truth?’
The society in which I found myself said that everyone had their own truth and no particular truth was intrinsically better than any other. I had accepted this without question. There came a time when such a view was not good enough. And if the society was lying about the truth, what else was it lying about? Perhaps it was also lying about God.
I then began to look at Christianity. Although still an atheist, I decided to open my mind. I found to my great surprise that Christianity has a long history of asking questions and consisted of not just the story of its founder, Jesus, but a great melding of philosophy and theology, together with a rich history. As an atheist I had been interested in philosophy and history, and these aspects of Christianity appealed to me. You can say that my intellectual journey towards God began here.
About two years ago, I stopped calling myself an atheist and started calling myself an agnostic. But all was not well; you see, while my head had accepted the existence of God, my heart rebelled. Now, for the first time, I realized that there was something in me, which I suppose we can call an ‘ego’, which absolutely refused to accept God. I was too attached to my ungodly lifestyle. I saw myself as clever and independent, fully in control of my destiny and my ego would not let me submit to God. I then became aware of something very strange; the ‘ego’ within me was gradually diminishing. It was a strange feeling to have, and difficult to describe. Something was at work in me. I myself was not doing anything; but each day my heart opened itself to God just a little more. One day, on a weekend when I was lying half asleep in bed as the sun shone through the windows, I suddenly realized that all resistance was gone. My heart was at one with my head.
A couple of weeks later, I walked into St George’s Church in Pearce, not as a visitor but for the first time as a believer. I still knew little about Christianity. I still had many questions.
My pastor Jason Clift suggested I read the Gospels, starting with Mark. It was here that I found the answer to my questions. When I read Jesus say ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’, my search ended. I had asked the question ‘What is truth?’ years before. Jesus had answered that He was the Truth. I found Jesus’ words profound. They calmed the turmoil in my mind and my heart. I realized that by turning to Jesus, I turned towards the truth, and that was why I had been transformed; from a lost and blind sinner, to one who could finally see. On 23 September, I was baptised and confirmed before my church community.
by Somesh Singh