Sometimes, I imagine that I am back at the University of Georgia. I remember those lazy mornings as I tumbled out of bed, took a quick shower, put on some sort of jeans and walking shoes and catching the bus to the Student Learning Center. To my right, I got to peer into the most sacred of places on campus, Sanford Stadium, and dream of those Georgia Saturdays as I walked toward a big lecture hall to pretend to pay attention. All the while, I was planning a big weekend with friends and dreaming about the delicious nap I would take before going to my part-time job hustling cell phones.
|Standing in my favorite stadium…|
|Proud graduate of UGA|
Those were the days. I still remember my first taste of freedom; my first home-away-from-home. There was, however, another day that I vividly remember that reoccured every year.
That day was and is known as the “Tate preacher” day. All University of Georgia grads know exactly what I am talking about. Even if you didn’t attend the University of Georgia, you probably know what I am talking about.
The news spread like whispers of a private concert at the forty watt…those crazy zealots are littering the Tate plaza with slogans like, “God hates sports fans,” (a great way to bring UGA students to Jesus…) and “fornicators go to hell,” (an equally great way to bring UGA students to Jesus).
I remember watching all students…Christians and Atheists alike…argue with these preachers about the words in the Word and the character of Christ. For one day, Christians and non-Christians stood united against these preachers that seemed to be spewing hatred rather than the words of Jesus.
For whatever reason, these preachers got all of us talking about God. We would sit on the East-West discussing how ridiculous it all was…and how unlikely their words were to bring any of us to the throne of Christ. Of course, none of us used that vocabulary.
There is something that makes Christians feel like we are being those preachers when we share our most intimate of stories that led us to Christ. All of us want to adhere to social norms that allow us to grow deeper in relationship with each other, but many Christians hesitate when it comes to sharing our faith. We simply do not want you to think that we are imposing our ideals on anyone, and the last thing we want to do is alienate our dearest friends for the sake of sharing the one person that has transformed every part of our lives.
On this Good Friday, I choose to share five parts of my personal story that led me to Jesus. When I say personal, I mean that it is just my story. It is what I believe because God has revealed himself to me in many of my greatest trials and held me together when all the world pointed to me falling apart. At the risk of sounding like an evangelist…here it goes…
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