We are blessed today, with an extract from our dear friend Werner’s book”About A Relationship’. It is longer than we use but it is an inspiring read, enjoy.
At the age of twelve my parents presented me with a brand new pushbike. I was thrilled to receive this gift but also surprised, because it was neither my birthday nor was it a Christmas present. I soon discovered that this gift contained responsibilities. This new black pushbike, featuring three gears, was also equipped with a passenger seat. From that day on it became my task to pick up my younger sister from kindergarten every afternoon, thus allowing both our parents to earn an income. I didn’t mind the extra responsibilities, because my new pushbike enlarged my world. For the first time I became aware of the treasure we call freedom.
Like every boy I quickly learned to do a few things that are not contained in the instruction book, such as riding very close behind our local bus as it travelled through our suburb. It was the daring thing to do when you’re boy of twelve, not to mention the stupidity and the danger. We would wait for the bus at a bus stop. As soon as the bus departed, the challenge was to remain close behind the bus, in the small triangle slip stream. The lack of wind resistance made it easy to keep up with the bus. But you couldn’t see a damn thing other than the back of the bus. All my faith and trust was with the bus driver, hoping that he would not apply his brakes until the next bus stop.
Thirty years later I received another surprise gift but this time it was not from my earthly parents. Many well meaning adults had tried to give me this precious gift that only God can give. When I attended compulsory church and confirmation classes as a young boy the present of God seemed far away. With increased age the gap between the church and myself also increased. Maybe it was mild reverence for God that made me recognize the value of honesty and integrity through the years. It was always important but a personal relationship with God did not exist until he surprised me at the age of forty-two. There, on a lonely beach, during a routine photographic assignment, I became aware of the power of God for the first time in my life. The event marked the beginning of a search and eighteen months later I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last,” Jesus said.
“Follow me! I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” Jesus had said.
Since the start of my journey with Jesus, now thirteen years ago, yes, I‘m now fifty-five, my walk with Jesus often returns me to my childhood pushbike experience. The gift of my salvation provided me with an unparalled freedom but also with great personal responsibilities toward God. Saint Paul once explained it like this; “It’s for freedom that Christ has set you free,” and in another verse he enlightens the reader, “the manifestation of the spirit is given for the common good.”
Following Jesus, I realized, was not unlike following close behind a bus on my pushbike so many years ago. Faith and trust was my greatest need. This time though, it wasn’t a bus driver I followed.
“Your faith has made you well,” Jesus said.
“The righteous will live by faith,” Saint Paul once wrote and I engraved his words on my heart and mind. Every day I presented myself to God, presenting to him my plans approval or destruction, relying totally on God to provide for all my daily needs. That’s when I learned to live in the moment just like following the bus as a young boy, deprived of the view ahead.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus kept reminding me
My decision to follow Jesus marked the beginning of a wonderful and exciting adventure that is still unfolding as I write these words. Just like pedaling behind the bus I feel the protection of the invisible triangle. The only thing I seek every day is to do God’s will and my life is filled with love, peace, joy and purpose. But like all boys occasionally I try to do things that aren’t in the instruction book, forgetting that I am engaged in a spiritual war. Often I am tempted to try it without Jesus, to make my own plans. Gratefully, having submitted all these good intentions to God, the Lord quickly destroys them with his grace, and I quickly return to the righteous path, trusting God with his plans for my life. When I have tried to do it on my own it was not unlike trying to overtake the bus with my pushbike, exposed to a great invisible power. This time though it was not the wind.
There were also times when I didn’t feel like praying or reading the Bible. It didn’t take long to recognize that I had slipped out of the protective triangle and was again exposed to a great resistance. It always took a lot effort to get back behind the bus. I have learned to be disciplined, to pray daily, to communicate with God and to memorize important scripture verses.
“The gospel is the power of life,” Saint Paul reminds.
The one thing God does not possess is our will. We are free to choose to live for God or to live for ourselves.
God cannot make us love him. God will merely extend his personal invitation to us, to follow Jesus, to live for God, to do the work that endures to eternal life. But we can refuse and many do so. For those who answer the call of Jesus I say.
“Trust in the Lord. Remain daily in the divine triangle and find out what the Lord wants you to do.”
Your journey will be filled with divine purpose and one day end in heaven.
Fancy a ride on a pushbike?
Then pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Saint Paul explained it like this.
“God’s message is near you, on your lips and in your heart. If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from death, you will be saved. Everyone who calls out to the Lord, will be saved.”
Here is the prayer that marked the beginning of my journey with Jesus. You may want to make it your prayer too.
I believe that Jesus is your son, that he died for me and paid the penalty for my sins. I will now turn away from the old life and live for you. Please forgive me, come into my heart and be my Saviour and Lord. I give myself to you. Thank you for hearing me and forgiving me.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
Werner’s full book is available on Amazons