On the front porch of his grandparents’ home, the word God was often used, but only in the context of a harsh modifier. Even though they were products of the Depression, his grandparents had no affinity toward religion, God, or anything of the sort.
So as a young man, he set his own course: to make money and have “everything” his heart desired. As for God, well, there just wasn’t one. He became an avowed and convincing atheist. He could win most arguments with Christians quite easily, and even the devout found themselves questioning their own faith.
Funny thing. It was his greed that began to change him. His all-out pursuit for money and things became a reality. He found he could obtain most everything he desired. But upon arriving at this place of “having it all,” he found it empty, shallow, and unfulfilling.
Is this all there is? He found himself asking that question. And in his questioning, for the first time he began to look at the Bible, and therein he stumbled upon something most surprising. He found a generous God—one who was not holding onto everything, but rather giving freely and generously. He found the person of Jesus who was not out for his own benefit but to benefit a wayward humanity. In the face of such generosity, he surrendered.
Now one of his driving passions is to share this message of generosity, the loving, forgiving God who does not hold on. The money he formerly sought to hold onto, he now seeks to give.
I wonder if that is what drives some atheists—the desire to hold onto their beliefs, their individualism, their pride. I wonder if the letting go, the submission to another One of greater magnitude is yet too hard.
Oh, Lord, cure me of my adulterous and still greedy heart.
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Published February 4, 2011
Topics: A Life of Faith