Short and Sweet:
Tips for living the abundant life
Dying by The Sword??-Another Coffee for the Jan 2002 Deep Cove Crier
Fighting makes us feel strong. Prayer reminds us that we are vulnerable. Fighting makes us feel in control. Prayer reminds us to let go and let God. Fighting feeds on anger and bitterness. Prayer feeds on forgiveness and peace.
I became a Christian exactly 30 years ago, after 17 years of spiritual hide-and-seek. Being raised in church, I was taught to pray as a child but never really understood the intimacy of a real relationship. As a teenager, my prayer life gradually faded into non-existence. I never rejected God. I just kept God at a convenient distance without even realizing it.
God to me was not untrue, but rather irrelevant. I never rejected prayer. It just slipped off my radar screen into oblivion. I never rejected the Church. I just found it painfully boring and obscure. Though I was desperately seeking for the meaning of life, I had no idea that the Church would have anything to offer in that area.
When I was brutally attacked as a teenager by a gang member, I turned to martial arts in a secret desire for both self-defense and revenge. Fighting made me feel strong. I had no idea that prayer might turn out to be a more powerful weapon. Within a year, I came to know Jesus Christ on a personal basis, and lost the desire to get even. A few years later, I discovered that this bully had gone after someone larger than him who had kicked this bully’s teeth in and twisted a broken beer bottle in his face. Hearing that story taught me that violence always breeds violence. It was better to forgive because there is always ‘a faster gunfighter just waiting around the corner.’ Even with that realization, it still took me twenty years before I finally parted company with martial arts.
When I met Jesus Christ 30 years ago, I was flabbergasted that someone was actually listening. Prayer no longer felt like talking to the ceiling plaster. It felt personal, real, and infectious. I couldn’t get enough of connecting to this new best-friend. There had been an emptiness inside me that skiing, golfing, and parties couldn’t fill. Through prayer, I felt a new inner peace and warmth that even my former drinking buddies noticed.
Going back to church, I noticed that church wasn’t as boring as it used to be. While it may have changed, the big thing was that I had changed from the inside out. I developed a new love and concern for people that I used to avoid and even look down on. Instead of resenting life, I began to wake up looking forward to the next adventure that was ahead of me.
One of the things that troubled me though, as a new Christian, was the infighting between all the different denominations. Why couldn’t the Anglicans, Baptists, Pentecostals, Mennonites, Presbyterians, etc learn to get along and stop competing? Click to find out more…
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Contact Rev. Ed Hird
St. Simon's Anglican Church
North Vancouver, B.C.