The One Thing Worth Pursuing

Welcome to Real Life. Lately, I’ve been reconnecting with my past. I had lunch with Bob’s daughter. Bob and I ran in the same crowd as teenagers. He died of cancer seven years ago. It was sweet to see his face again, especially his hazel eyes, echoed in his daughter. A few weeks ago I found Gary, another friend from my teen years, on Facebook. These connections have reminded me of the Peggi I was long ago. She’s someone I often forget.
But you are the ones chosen by God …
to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you— from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.[1]
My Best Friend Annette and I (age 13)
As a teenager, life just seemed more fun when I was high. Using drugs added an element of excitement. I was doing something illegal and slightly dangerous and getting away with it. I felt cool and very clever.

I grew up the youngest of four siblings. One by one as teenagers they began to use alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. I soon followed. At twelve, I smoked my first joint. A year later, I was dropping acid at an Edgar Winter concert.[2] Rock music and drugs made a natural pair.  David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, and Pink Floyd accompanied me in basements lined with black light posters as I got high “with a little help from my friends.”

But, the thrill of using drugs grew old while I was still young. By sixteen I was beginning to wonder, “Is this all life has to offer?” At this point, I was in high school and trying to decide on a future career. I didn’t want to waste my life. I wanted to invest it in something worthwhile. Yet, I could find nothing that seemed worthy of all my time and energy. I was lost, directionless.

Around that time, my brother Joe joined the military. He was stationed down South in the Bible belt. There, he met Jesus. Suddenly instead of getting drunk and busting heads, Joe was meeting friends for Bible study. I couldn’t deny the miracle. While home on leave, he gave me his small military-issue Gideon’s Bible. After he left, I tried to read the book of Revelation.[3] I got totally confused and shoved the Bible in my dresser drawer.

However, Joe’s transformation and my thirst for meaning caused me to start visiting churches. One Sunday morning, a pastor spoke from the Bible. It was the first time I had heard anyone speak purely from God’s Word. I knew it was the truth. The man told me about Jesus, how he came to reveal God to us. Then, Jesus died on the cross to open the way to God for us. When the service ended, I knelt at the altar and asked Jesus to come into my heart.

Everything changed. The next morning on the school bus, a friend offered me a free hit of speed.[4] To his shock, I refused it. I never smoked another joint. I had no desire to. I no longer needed an artificial high. Knowing Jesus was a natural, joy-filled high. His Spirit within me inspired new desires.  I devoured my Bible.  I wanted to learn more about God.  I couldn’t wait to go to church.  I enjoyed hanging out with other Christians. I had found the one thing worth pursuing ~ Jesus.  I would live the rest of my life for him.

And Peggi lived happily ever after. Well, not exactly. Life is no fairy tale (just read a few of my blogs.) Through it all, Jesus has been my solid foundation. He’s given me a Real Life worth living. And the best life is yet to come.

… the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. ... But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world … had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.[5]
Do you know Jesus? A simple prayer of faith can change everything: 
Dear Jesus, be merciful to me - a sinner. Forgive me. Come into my heart and make me new. I want to live for you. Amen. 
Take it further …

[1] 1 Peter 2:9-10 The Message
[2] Edgar Winter, 1973 at Massillon Tiger Stadium
[3] At the time, everyone was talking about the book of Revelation and the end of the world. Revelation is a book of prophecy which is difficult for many Christians to understand, much less someone who’s never read the Bible.
[4] An amphetamine
[5] Closing lines of The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

Comments

  1. Hi Peggi,
    You are a living testimony of the grace of God and how it changes people. Thank you for sharing your conversion in your blog. I, too, have a story about God's grace and his goodness. It is wonderful that we who have been turned around to see the light can make a difference by our obedience to his word.
    Very tasteful and nicely written blog post calling people to Christ.
    Ciao,
    Patricia

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  2. Beautiful just beautiful brought me to tears. You truly have a gift of writing.

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  3. Thanks, Stef. This blog was hard to write. There were so many different aspects/stories in how I came to know Jesus that it was hard to know what to focus on. So, I really appreciate your encouragement!

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  4. Peggi, this was wonderful!! You were lucky to have the good sense at a young age to turn your life around--so many don't. I think I bloggered your post to my blog--thought I hit twitter, but I did sent it to twitter and fb.

    Micki

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  5. Hi Patricia,
    Thank you for your beautiful comment! I really wrestled with this blog - so I appreciate your encouragement. Sometime, I hope I'll have the privilege of hearing your story of grace. It (God's grace) is certainly evident in all you write, Patricia.

    BTW - my brother Joe (and his wife) was stationed in Stuttgart for 2 years with the military. His daughter was born there. They liked Germany and enjoyed traveling Europe while living there. Thanks again! Peggi

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  6. Hi Micki,
    Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and comment - so kind of you! Yes, I am VERY grateful that I came to Christ at a young age. Peggi

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  7. I love life-changing stories like this! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us and thanks, Micki, for guiding us to Peggi's blog!

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  8. I think, this is some really life changing story - and a very special one. I can feel how important this is to you.

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  9. Thanks, Raani. I appreciate your kind words!

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  10. Hi Sandra - thanks for taking the time to read "my story." :) I'm glad you liked it.

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  11. Hi there,

    Since I like your blog so much, I've "tagged" you in a little game on mine:

    http://raaniyork.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/eleven-questions-whos-in/

    Hope you're having a wonderful week!

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