© 2015 by Bob Wingate
[This Blog was published in the Salisbury Post on Aug 1, 2015.]
I awoke early this morning at 3am and almost three hours later, my mind's still racing. Lately, I find its a rare privilege to find my mind working at normal speed, or at all, much less the overdrive mode it seems to be in right now.
I find myself thinking about how nice it is to really connect with another person in life, either a good friend, or on rare occasions, someone that ends up becoming a lifelong companion. And how bittersweet, or even heartbreaking, it can be when you think of people you lost touch with along the way, those you were close to at one time, or those you always wanted to get to know, but somehow never did. There are those people from my life, and I'm sure you can think of some too.
As I often do, I draw an analogy to God and our relationship with him. He says that our sin has seperated us, and keeps us from enjoying his presence in our lives. God's plan included the sending of Jesus, not just as a prophet or teacher, but as a sacrifice for our sin. As much as we take our lives and problems and try to figure them out on our own, this was, and is, the only way to ever make a bridge between ourselves and God.
John 15:13- Greater Love has no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
My father was a wonderful man who found the way to God in Jesus. Since his death in March, we've been going through old boxes of papers and memorabilia, and consequently, a lot of memories. Today I found a couple of annuals from eighth and ninth grade with pictures and notes from a lot of old friends. As much as this meant to me, I also found a notebook from a summer camp that means even more, for in it I wrote, "Tonight- August 1, 1972, I trusted in Christ as MY Savior." It's great to find such a personal heirloom as this. I've never doubted my relationship with God since then, but it's nice to see how real it (and he) was to me way back then.
Perhaps you've never experienced that time in your life where you allowed God access to your life by believing in his Son. Jesus described it as having a rebirth. Seems odd. It did to the man Jesus was explaining it to back then. He wanted to know how he, a grown man, could enter again into his mother's womb and be born again. What a ludicrous thought! Jesus must've laughed. No, no. It's a spiritual rebirth, in which God forgives us and renews our spirit with His spirit. I trusted in him to do that back in the summer of 1972 and I've never been the same since. It made me a new and different person. And whenever I lose sight of him in my life, or begin to drift a bit, I go back to that first night when my life with him began, and look at a signpost to lead me back, and let me know everything's going to be alright.
As I looked back at pictures from school days gone by, I wondered and thought back to those times. I miss some of my old school buddies and wish I could see them again. Sometimes I do, at class reunions or from time to time. And it's good to get together, and renew those old friendships once again. I cherish many of those friends. But even better, I have this True Friend that I met back then, and we will never ever have to part, for he is with me each and every day, and I carry him with me in my heart forever.
Hebrews 13:5-- I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
BOB WINGATE is a free lance writer, guitar player and teacher, and music promoter living in Salisbury.
His web blogs are at --- www.thebobpage.com and www.blogsbybob.com.