A Sobering Realization

by Collin Mathies

Growing up, I did not know God. I knew some concepts about God from different belief systems, but on the whole I was not worried about it because life was good for me. And by “good” I mean doing drugs with my friends, constantly playing video games, watching porn, partying, and vegging out in front of the T.V. Though I thoroughly enjoyed all of this, I was a slave to pleasure.

It was easy to live this life as a teenager because my parents were divorced; with my dad out of the house and my mom working full-time while going to school, I had all the time and freedom in the world to do it. I honestly felt lucky that I had so little supervision in my adolescence.

By the time I turned 18, I was on probation for possession of marijuana and had started to have various health problems. I eventually realized that I was actually going to die one day, and that day could be tomorrow. I developed a heavy sense that the Christian God was real—along with Heaven and Hell—and that if I died I would go to Hell.

So I started having panic attacks about going to Hell. I didn’t necessarily think that I was a bad person, but I knew deep down that I wouldn’t be allowed into Heaven. To try and alleviate my anxiety, I decided to become a Christian—but reluctantly, since I knew my current lifestyle was incompatible with following Jesus. The panic and terror I felt were so severe I was willing to do anything.

Without really knowing how to become a Christian, I did what any normal person would do—I Googled it. After a few weeks, I finally cried out to God and surrendered my life to Christ, asking him to be my Lord and forgive me for everything I’d done wrong against him, and to please save me from all the sin I’d committed.

I was instantly flooded with the presence of God and his overwhelming love for me. Nothing I’d ever experienced was like this. It was like having life breathed into me for the first time. No one had ever told me that Christianity was a living, breathing relationship with the Creator of everything.

This made my reluctance at first seem ridiculous. Before, I didn’t want to be a Christian because I didn’t want to give up my life—I loved it the way it was. But what I have found out many times since deciding to follow Jesus is that nothing in this world compares to knowing him and walking with him. Having him is better than anything that the world can offer. Any drug or pleasure in this world doesn’t even come close.

I didn’t want to be a Christian because I thought it would be dreadful and joyless, but I found out that nothing else can satisfy like Christ can. He is worth giving everything up.