World of the Free to Choose: Part Four

On a crisp October day in 1996, I called Tony from my car to find out why he no longer approached me to talk about the subject of God.

“I’m out of ammo,” he responded, “and there’s nothing more I know to say.”

“So that’s it? You’re done with me?” It took several more minutes of my prying before he reluctantly shared the most disarming words I’d ever heard.

“No, it’s not that. A friend and I have made a pact to call each other once a week to pray for you. That’s all.”

“You what?” I heard him, but had to compose myself. “That’s a bit out of the ordinary, don’t you think? Two grown men don’t have anything better to do than pray for me? Shouldn’t you be talking about last night’s ball game or some such thing?” 

My amiable friend chuckled.

I squirmed. No one had ever told me that they were praying for me before. I simply had no category for it, and no defense. I remember after I hung up feeling like an arrow had pierced my heart, which it had, and of having the sensation of being intellectually and emotionally spent. As I sat in my car and mulled over every angle of why these two men would do something so selfless, I came up with no viable answer, other than—dare I think it, a word that back then I didn’t associate with a male friend—love. I drove home in a mental daze (benumbed is the word), fully aware that there was no more thinking to do, no other books to read, no knowledge left to consider.
Faith. It’s similar to belief but it’s more. You can believe something but still not act on that belief. I had sufficient head knowledge, but no faith. Faith acts. I can know that there’s a chair in the corner of the room with four sturdy legs. I can believe that it would hold me up if I decided to sit down. But faith is an act of the will. It’s what puts me in that chair. As I drove along, I had a private conversation in my head. “I know that Jesus has my best interests at heart, and that I can trust Him. But am I willing to give Him my heart? I believe that I am.”

The Bible says, “Ask and it will be given to you” (I had been doing that since I was five), “seek and you will find” (for as long as I can remember), and “knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, NIV). That night, in the unceremonious surrounds of my own bathroom, I knocked. I got on my knees and prayed for God’s forgiveness and for Jesus to come into my life, and He did. The Lion roared.