Paul - Rich
I was homeschooled and I had a lot of free time. Our town was small, so small that you could walk across it in a twenty-minute walk. My parents liked going to church so it seemed as though we were at the church anytime the doors were open. I actually loved being at church. I was in a program called Royal Rangers where we learned outdoor skills. I started playing the piano in the worship band at just 12 years old, and I was involved in this Christian version of scholar’s bowl called Bible Quiz. In around 4 years I memorized 13 books of the Bible! In my small world I was praised by all who knew me. Yet what I didn’t realize is that all of this knowledge and hours of service to God were worthless because they could not replace actually knowing God.
There was no substance to my life. I knew who Jesus was, but I felt like an empty vessel; void of any real relationship with Him. I thought of Jesus like a King, and I was His servant. I came to Him when I needed help, but our relationship revolved around the problems I brought him. Things didn’t change between us until January 2016. One night, I lived out Hebrews 12:1 which says, “ …throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” I felt entangled so I got rid of everything that stood between Jesus and I. The things that entangled me were selfishness, fits of anger, and loving the praise that comes from people. Turning from sin I began to start healthy habits like an active prayer life; which to me meant talking to Jesus throughout the day and not only before bed. He became real to me not just as the king of the universe but also as my friend. Jesus was and has always been someone I could talk to about anything. He is always there to comfort me and always knows exactly what to say. I find that as I get to know more about God, He takes the time to get to know me. It is mind blowing that God is so approachable and present. Jesus said in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” A secret about Jesus is that he wants everyone to experience eternal life today. Jesus is the prize.