Growing up I had always saw that there are generally 3 sides to an individual. They were emotional, mental, and physical. Emotional tied to matters of the heart examples being love, hate, like, trust and such. Mental tied to matters of the brain examples being reasoning, deduction, and other thought processes. Physical obviously being tied to the body.
I grew up a Roman Catholic and was educated through the Catholic school system. This didn’t really teach me anything spiritual. I remembered religion classes simply being history, mostly church history. Catholics did this, they did that. And that was basically it. Very little talk about Jesus Christ except around Christmas and Easter. And that was more historical perspective.
Then there was the Old Testament. Up until several years ago when I actually started reading the Bible, I thought the Old Testament was just the Book of Genesis. Yes that’s right. The Old Testament started with Adam and Eve and ended with Joseph in Egypt. I was missing a lot.
So with my Catholic up bringing, not knowing really anything about God. Seeing going to church as a task that was never explained, just something you do. And then with the news of some Priests being pedophiles. I didn’t see a need to go and I ended up growing very cold towards the Church. And I was like that for a long time.
Then my sister started acting weird. She starting being unavailable on Sundays. Then I come to find out that she was going to church. Deborah? Going to church? Ok. She’s prone to do weird stuff. Then she started talking about it. A lot. Ok, Deborah. Good for you. You found God. Great. You’re excited about it, great. Ok this is getting old. Stop pushing God on me. I actually told her that. Several times in fact. I went as far as telling her that if she mentioned it any more I would not talk to her any longer. And for a long time we didn’t talk.
Then comes Christmas. And Deborah gave me a gift that I was confused by and offended by. She gave me a Bible. A King James Version Gift and Award Bible. I asked her what it was for. She responded that I might find it useful someday. Useful? For what? SMACK! I hit her in the head with it. Now there’s a use.
Now I had gone back to school. A Catholic University none-the-less. And Catholic schools require religion classes. My first religion class was Catholic Traditions. That was fun. Someone who has an argumentative side and disenchanted with the Catholic Church studying Catholic Traditions. I dug up the Bible that Deborah gave me and started arguing with my teachers based on what scripture said. Using the Bible to prove how wrong Catholicism is. Looking back it was weird. Here is an unbeliever using the book of believers against what I thought were believers.
Then something strange happened. I realized something was missing in my life. That there was a piece of my life that wasn’t getting any attention. There is a spiritual side of life. So there are those who are emotionally sick, those who are mentally sick, and those who are physically sick, there I was spiritually sick. What can I do about it?
Well I was not about to go to the Catholic Church, or anything like it. At this point in school I was studying Eastern Religions. Hinduism? Nah, I don’t quite see animals like elephants or cattle the spiritual center of the universe. Buddhism? Nah, there was more to spiritualism than just enlightenment. Shinto? I didn’t understand that one at all. OK, let’s look at western religions. Islam? Um. No. for a few of reasons. One, terrorism gives it a bad name. Two, Jihad, which the Muslim faith seems to be pivoting around, is not one of the “five pillars of Islam”. Three, it is my understanding that the Koran says early on the Jews and Christians are “of like cloth” and to be respected, then later in the Koran, any non-Muslim is an infidel and must die. Sounds a little double minded to me. Judaism? Well no. One I’m not born a Jew, and I also don’t see them practicing their faith, at least the way the Tenauch says they should. Christianity? I’m not going back to the Catholic Church. Then there’s “New Age”, well I dig new age music. I know not the same thing. But let’s look into Scientology. So one day I went to check it out.
Scientology. Oh boy. It started out all nice. They’d ask what kind of issues I was facing in life. Then they’d say for this issue we have this course that costs $4000. And for that issue we have this course that cost $1500. But to be able to take those courses you have to take this other course that’s $850. Um, yeah I see what they’re after. What a joke that was.
So I get home, and just as soon as I walk in the door. My phone rings. It’s Deborah calling. “Hey Aaron, ummm do you have plans this Sunday?” I replied, “No”. Deborah continued, “Well, this Sunday there’s going to be a barbeque, with softball and volleyball. Would you like to come?” I said, “Sure”. Then Deborah pressed on, “Well it’s at a park near church right after service.” Long Pause “Would you like to come to service? It’d be…” I cut her off, “Sure”. Followed by a long pause she replied, “Great!”
It was September 1st 2002. I walked into this school where church service was being held, hoping that it was something different. Something that was not hypocritical like the Catholic Church. Well it was different. Very Different. I could see myself, how wrong I had spent my life. My only response was to repent and believe.