My whole life I’ve had to be in control. Growing up in a catholic family, being catholic really wasn’t for me. I was dragged to mass every Sunday by my mom and really there was nothing I ever got out of it. Jesus was someone to go to when I had a problem in my life, but I didn’t see any problems. I was in control.
Instead of living the life Jesus wanted of me, I was living up to society’s standards of what was expected of me. According to society, doing things for myself, getting good grades, and fitting in with the cool kids was everything I needed. The way I saw it, there was no point for me to surrender myself before Jesus because A) I didn’t know a personal relationship existed and B) even if He did know me I didn’t notice. I saw limits on God’s love. These limits put God in a box, over in the corner and limited what He could do in my life.
I didn’t want Jesus to do anything in my life. I’ve always been a person who puts relationships at a distance, and this was one at quite a distance. I was not willing to live for someone who, in my eyes only had a set of rules for me to follow and really allowed no freedom. My prayers were “Jesus help me win this sports game”, I lacked a personal relationship. There were no bumps in the road, there were no problems. I thought my life was perfect. I was living a very selfish life and I didn’t see the need for a Saviour.
I arrived at university this past September with a firmer grounding in my faith after having experienced bumps in the road, but I wanted more. Following a Discovery faith study, a CCO staff member invited me to put Jesus at the centre of my life. I accepted that invitation for the first time. That day, it clicked and Jesus wrapped me with arms only a Father could and allowed me to experience the love He was offering. In that moment all that mattered were things not of this earth, I had an experience with Jesus that day that profoundly changed my life.
Instead of placing value on what society places emphasis on, Jesus was inviting me to live with Him, forever. I simply could not sit in front of a man who carried my sins and then died for them and say “I’ll pass this time.” The least I could give to a man who literally gave His all for me would be to live a life of praise for Him. How beautiful it is, that He was waiting for me to give my ‘yes’ all this time. Jesus did know my name and for all these years he was offering me intimate love that was out of this world. At that moment I was speechless and moved to tears because Jesus died for ME, in my selfishness. I shared that joy with everyone. Accepting this truth gave me the opportunity to give part of my day to Jesus. I now had a desire to pray and give thanks.
I used to be the guy who saw confession as something to be ashamed of, now it is something that offers me a chance at God’s mercy. Even though I still struggle with discipline, trust and selfishness, God offers me freedom every day. I now see God’s love as limitless, He literally loves me because (period)-there are no checklists. Faith is now something I want to share. Instead of attempting to figure things out my own, I now turn to Jesus in prayer. The selfish life I was living has lost its appeal. God’s mercy and personal relationship with me has allowed me to live a much more joy-filled life with everyone.
I have noticed the change and those around me have too. Instead of focusing on myself and what the best interest are for me, I have this desire for others to be placed before me. I have a desire now, in the bottom of my heart to bring the Gospel message to each person I encounter. It is no longer about what I have, it is what I can give to others. I have learned that selfishness was not the quick route to happiness, the quickest route to happiness is allowing God to be in control. With God in control of my major and minor details of my life, I no longer have to worry about anything! I do not need to worry about the plans or the futures of my life, God has a plan for my life, I have to trust in Him. I am no longer a slave to selfishness with Christ at the centre of my life. God’s in control.