Meet Dan. He grew up in a non-religious home and thus was given the choice to explore the world in any way he wanted to. Everything was permissible but not everything was profitable, he later realized. He chased after everything which seemed pleasant and pleasurable. But he still felt like he was missing something within him. He could always be found in the midst of people but someway somehow, he still felt lonely. He didn’t believe in God or any other higher power as others called it. To him, only things that were tangible mattered. Even those things can get out of hand sometimes, why bother with supernatural beliefs which do not cater for the natural things? He considered the concept a waste of one’s time and energy.
But after combing through every possible way to enjoy this temporary journey called life, he knew he had to find the one thing that would make him whole. He didn’t know what it was, but he was going to find it; no matter how long it took or how much it would cost him. After all, his life must account for something, right?
Meet Suzy. Born into a staunch Christian family, she has not known any other life apart from what her parents taught her and what she saw them do. If they were not at church, then they were either participating in some church or community activity. She felt contented with herself and her life so far until she reached her teens. She struggled with the changes in her body and mind and felt isolated from her mates in school who seemed to have found a way around this new phase in life to make it fun as possible.
So she found herself in a dilemma. She did enjoy spending time in church with the other peers but she wished she could be one of the cool girls in school too. It wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun, would it, she thought to herself. She knew living the godly life had its benefits but why should a little fun be painted like the forbidden fruit?
So one day, as fate would have it, Dan and Suzy met at bus station; each one of them planning to find what they think was missing in their lives. They sat down beside each other waiting for the bus which surprisingly was beyond late. Out of frustration, Dan spoke up.
“Could this be a sign that I was wrong about all this?” Suzy turned to look at him, wondering what he meant.
“About deciding to travel today? Looks like it.”
“I have no particular place in mind, actually. I’m looking for something that makes meaning; something that makes life worth living.”
“Anything specific in mind?”
“Not really; I am not really the religious type but now I’m going to open-minded about everything. I do believe there must be answer out there.”
“I’m Christian and I’ve not regretted it so far.” Dan turned his gaze on her.
“Tell me about it; your faith, I mean,” he said, seemingly interested. Suzy shrugged with her arms folded.
“It’s…fulfilling. It doesn’t mean your problems automatically go poof into the air but at least you have that peace in your heart that things would work out for good in the end. It’s interesting actually; the fact that you have to rely on someone you cannot see but believe that he is there with you come rain or shine. People have the wrong perception that Christians are bound by their faith and that they don’t get to enjoy the pleasures of life but the truth is, one can only find true freedom in Christ. Everything you do is out of a clean conscience and so when you go to bed at night, you can sleep in peace knowing that you haven’t hurt anyone or afraid that someone would find out what you did behind his or her back.”
Dan bowed his head as memories of some terrible things he had done even to his friends came to mind. He did feel guilt whenever he met them, knowing what he had done and was in constant fear of what would happen if they found out.
“So would your God give me a clean slate if I come to Him? Would he accept me despite how unworthy I am?”
“Why not? We are all born sinners. The difference is that, believers have been saved by faith. It doesn’t that we turn into super saints when we come to receive him. It is a…walk; a daily one. You need him to guide you on how to live the fulfilling life that we were created to lead. It starts with you admitting that you have fallen short and that you need saving. You just ask Him to come into and take over your life and that is the beginning of life,” Suzy said. Dan nodded.
“I could try that. After all, what do I have to lose, right?” Suzy smiled.
“So, where are you headed?” He asked her. She chuckled.
“After everything I’ve just shared with you, I’m even wondering why I’m here. You see, I’ve never tasted life on the other side. It’s always been church, school, home and the cycle starts all over again. I was content but looking at my peers in school, I felt I didn’t have any fun experiences. I wanted to know what it feels like to go a little wild, you know? You’ve been there, tell me how it’s like.”
“It’s like you’re high; you feel like you can do anything and get away with it. But the hangover effect isn’t pretty, that I can assure you. After the fun and the noise, all you feel is the nausea of emptiness and worthlessness. So to suppress it, you do it again, the drinking and the partying so that the noise could drown the awful quiet emptiness within you but when the party is over and you’re alone on your bed, you feel it all over again. And so, that has been the story of my life,” Dan narrated.
“You make it sound very unappealing. That’s not the vibe I get from my peers in school,” Suzy said.
“That’s because they act as if they are having the best time in the world so you wouldn’t see how lonely they actually feel inside. I’ve been there.” He watched Suzy as she tried to think through all he had said.
“If you’re thinking of going to test the waters, I’d advise you not to. It is a waste of time. You have your faith and from the little I’ve heard, it’s worth having. It’s ugly out there. It’s a jungle. No one cares if your feelings are hurt in the process as long as they get what they want. It’s going to strip you of the peace that you have and that is one thing I’d like to have a taste of. You’ll be drained of every virtue you have and then left to rot away. No one would care.”
“Then I guess I better go back home,” Suzy said.
“Yeah and maybe you could take me with you.” Suzy looked into his eyes which were pleading loudly for rescue. She smiled and offered him her hand.
“I’m pretty sure that is why I found myself here today.” Just as they got up, the bus arrived. They smiled at each other as they walked away from the long-awaited bus they were expecting.
A few years later, they found themselves taking the first couple’s dance at their wedding reception.
“Thank you for coming to my rescue at the bus station. You saved me,” Dan said to his wife.
“No, you saved me. At least, you were looking for the Way. I was walking away from it. You made me rethink why I wanted to leave in the first place. Thank you.” He kissed her forehead.
“Trust me, I’ve never felt such love like the one I’ve received from your family and church. If I hadn’t met you, I’d have never known what it felt like to have such fellowship. It’s refreshing.”
“Welcome to God’s family,” Suzy said with a broad smile.
Two people looking for something they felt missing, found each other. Not just each other but also the love of the Father who created all things and in whom love is perfected. Many people are looking for the Way; they just need someone to point the right direction to them. We need to be sensitive enough to identify such desperate ones and help them out before they are deceived into taking the wrong path.