DAVID C. HARRISON
I had good Christian parents and went to a great Baptist church. We moved to California when I was 10 and again found a great church. In all the years in the churches we attended and visited, the theme was Faith. Every sermon and Sunday School lesson began, included or ended with “Believe”.
As a child of 6, I spent the better part of two weeks trying to determine if I was really playing or dreaming I was playing, or was I simply someone else’s dream thus not actually real at all. My struggles with “reality” grew over the years. Eventually “take it by faith” answers to my questions created doubt, not faith. By late teens I was an in your face atheist. I actively sought out Christians, mocked them, ridiculed them and laughed at their ignorance.
Without an outside objective reality to seek and discover, I had only my own thoughts and experiences to guide me. I tried everything even at one point I intended to commit suicide, not out of frustration or despair but simply to experience another level of discovery. (Needless to say, I abandoned that stupidity)
During this journey my mother privately prayed not only that I would come to Christ but would become a minister.
One day a friend and I went to moms for dinner (we usually drank our dinners at a bar) Billy Graham was on T.V. when we came in and of course mom left him on the entire time. At one point my friend began to openly brag about our drinking and drug feasts and I told him to stop it. (I didn’t want to hurt or worry mom).
Just as I told him to, “Stop talking about this right now”,
She said, “That’s alright Dave, your going to change and soon.”
You would have to know my mom to understand the weight of that comment, but that night and the next 2 nights I dreamed about those words.
My roommates either smoked of drank breakfasts, but Wednesday morning I wanted neither and was very quiet. “What’s up with you today?” Freddy asked.
“I have been thinking about what my mother said almost constantly since Sunday, if there is one chance in a million that she is right and there is a god I owe it to her and him to reconsider my position.”
After a week of self assessment and debate I concluded God logically exists, given the alternatives. Within 3 months I was “Born of the Spirit and a month later called into ministry. That was 55 years ago. Jesus has proven to be the best and most faithful friend and Lord I could imagine. He has given me an incredible family and group of friends plus a life far greater than before I came to him. Oh yes, I did, in a way, give my life up as I intended before, but this time to the greatest adventure of all.
Dave is the founder and director of International Association of Ministries headquartered in Sacramento.