Later, off at college and far distant from home and free to do as I wanted, I went through a stage of rebellion. No, not a violent stage but one where I didn't see God as I should and I allowed myself to grow apart by just not attending church or one of the Christian fellowships and instead would just sleep late on Sunday after a Saturday night of fun. Yet through it I still had something in the back of my mind that nagged at me to change and a camping trip one weekend watching the sun come up over the desert mountains brought back the same feelings of God's power that I remembered from boyhood days at Nags Head.
Even later, while an Army officer overseas, I strayed again, yet two particular events happened which made me realize I needed to come back. One was another sunrise, this one on the Mediterranean in a beautiful little coastal town outside of Barcelona and the other more lasting, fatherhood. I knew I wanted my children to grow up with faith and so, not too long thereafter when back in the States, I began to teach Sunday school. That allowed me to set the example while also requiring me to study the Bible and it began to truly get my life in gear. And from that time on I have taught Sunday school in many places and in several different Protestant denominations with many age groups.
Now moving into the twilight phase of my life, something else has wonderfully taken place within me. After all these years of studying so many different books of the Bible (I am still working on it), I have finally come to realize the connection of Old Testament to New Testament and why we can't really understand God's purpose for us without both. From the Law to the New Contract with God through Jesus, it all unfolds and the book even takes us up to today. The impact of Jesus on the Apostles and all of His followers and the horrible things that so many in the world did to them continues itself into modern times and explains so much about why there is so much hate in the world. For you see, if we don't truly open our heart, let the Holy Spirit in to guide us and let Him connect us with our Lord and Savior, then we, in the end will end up no better than those filled with hate. The absence of the love of Jesus will result in us being susceptible to the hatred and evil of Satan and he will find a way to enter our hearts and turn them to stone.
So, when you're on a beautiful beach, backpacking in the mountains or even walking across the rolling plains of the central states, look around you at the beuuty of a sunrise and let the warmth and glory of that rising sun loosen the chains of indifference in your heart and let the Son shine in. You'll feel a warmth like you've never felt, and with some study and prayer routinely applied to your life with the communion of like souls in church, it will change you and prepare you for the glory awaiting beyond this world. Think about that and pray about it and you'll know what your life needs, guaranteed. God bless you all.