This is not actually the beginning, but I'll get to that later. The beginning was 20 years, 2 months, and 23 days ago when my twin and I were born. It was a Sunday afternoon and in a seven minute span my mom finally delivered Julie and I into this world of oxygen, and we breathed. I grew up, parted my hair down the middle, had glasses, liked math and science, went to children's church and played at recess. I knew God was alive and that Jesus died for me and that a lot of people loved me.
However, I also grew up without my dad around much, and so thought some funky things about myself without realizing it. When I was ten, my mom married a Christian man who is still very diligent to do the right thing, and they are still together today. But he jumped on the boat at 40 years old and has probably done a great job at adjusting. Unfortunately, as a boy and then a young man, who happened to be quite sensitive and very feely, I didn't receive what a young man needed to receive from him. And so I thought things. Things that are not now nor have ever been true. Things that are the opposite of who I really am, but since I'm so afraid of becoming, I think I am. And this is where God comes in.
Without God, cold and darkness, loneliness and despair reign. Fortunately for me, he has never let me go. Much to my surprise, even till today, he has refused to let me go and I can never, for the rest of my life, deny he is alive and piercing. He is not just some all-powerful entity to watch the ants live out their lives, but infinitely and intimately penetrates into our hearts and minds. He has provided life to me, and life abundantly. These are not just some abstract thoughts, some ungrounded, floating concepts: I've prayed to hear God's voice and he replies by filling me with joy. I've asked for guidance and he's shown me which choice is the right one. I've called out in distress and felt warm peace all over me and then just knew he was with me, saying in a James Earl Jones kind of way, "James. You are my son. I love you and will never, ever leave you."
He has said these things to all people everywhere. But they only apply to those who believe in this: That Jesus Christ is his Son and is the One to save people from their sins. Then life and light are poured into you and though your faith will be tested, you will know you have the promised eternal life.
I know this, and because I do I want to know more and more about him. So I am doing this Bible School through YWAM (Youth with a Mission) and studying what he has inspired people to write and inspired people to collect and compile so that we can know who he is and apply it to our lives. So I am here in Canada. This school is the beginning, in several ways, of my walk with God as a man. I am more determined now than ever to do his will and to grow into who he created me to be. I am two-thirds done with this school, and cannot wait to learn more and more. It is a lot of work, but laziness has never proven love. I love Jesus very much, and I plan to show this to many people in my life.
I love God because he first loved me. He will never leave me nor forsake me, and he's out of his mind with love for me. And this unbelievable luxury of Joy and Peace is really available to all.
This time is awesome, but it's just the beginning.