The challenge of walking with the God who knows me  

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Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.

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Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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John 3:3 (NIV)

 “No one can see the Kingdom of  God unless he is born again”

Life was not fun.  I was always bottom of class until about 12 years of age when my dyslexia began to be dealt with.  I was always clumsy and as a result not good at sports, I seemed to be the butt of many jokes.  In some ways it was not surprising that as I was growing up my life was filled with a continual sense of escape.  I was always hiding away from people.  My great escape method was to read books.  If I was reading a book then two things happened.  Firstly there was a barrier between me and the outside world, no one would intrude into my world and I would not have to face theirs.  Secondly there was another world that seemed somehow more exciting and enjoyable than my own.

The only problem with this escape into a world of books was that I was very lonely.  I could not face people so I pushed them away from me, but then as a result there was never anybody there whom I could call a close friend.  So, in response I escaped further into books.

It is amusing, if not a bit ironic that it was through books that a discovery was made that brought in the end my salvation from this vicious circle.  I had always had some kind of Spiritual interest.  My parents never went to church.  At boarding school however one was obligated to go each week and then there was Religious Education.  The master who took R.E. was not one to follow a curriculum.  He told gory stories from the beginning of Israel’s history to fascinate little boys, and I who loved stories was fascinated more than others.  As a result of these I was consistently top of the class at R.E.  I knew a lot of stories, but I did not know God.

I was introduced to a book that explained to me how the gods of this earth were in fact spacemen from another world.  Being one who was  into science fiction this tickled my fancy and I really got into it.  Then, by one of those ‘mistakes’ that happen all too frequently to be called mistakes, I picked up a book that I thought was contributing to these ideas.  In fact this new book demolished the theories previously presented.  What I was left with, was that incredible things had happened on our world.  They were not the work of spacemen, and that left only God.  I began to believe in God again, yet, I still did not know him.

Not long later, I was in the chapel of our school.  I had to be there for some hours and the chaplain had thoughtfully left reading material around.  I picked up some booklets.  The first ones presented a whole new mindset.  There were Christians and those who are not Christians.  It was clear that to be a Christian one had to have become one, and since I never had, I could not be one.  I read another that showed how to become a Christian.  That I needed to pray to God asking for his forgiveness for the way I had lived up till now, and to ask Jesus to come into my life to change me to become like him.  I went to my room and with this minimum of understanding, prayed.

I did not really notice what was happening.  It was only years later that I realised that from that time I began to make friends, and that at that time my consumption of books plummeted.  I had a long way to go, I was very weak and shaky in faith, but the cycle of escape and loneliness had been broken.