Linda and I came to know Jesus Christ as our Savior during the summer of 1972, a little over two years after we were married. At the time, we were living on a run-down, 80 acre farm in north central Wisconsin. We had purchased the farm as the first step toward the realization of our vision to get back to the land, to develop an organic food farm, to somehow become totally self-sufficient, and to attain some semblance of inner peace and harmony which continually eluded us.
The late 60's scene had a great impact on us. We were both avid readers: classical literature, Russian history, philosophy, contemporary poetry, Tibetan mysticism, and Zen Buddhism, particularly authors D.T. Suzuki and Alan Watts. During that last long, hard winter, I remember taking turns reading out loud on Sundays until we finished "Dr. Zhivago".
The harder I applied myself, the more insidious was the despair creeping over me. The realization gradually took hold that I was completely inadequate to attain harmony with God, truth, or self (whichever the right path may have been) on my own strength. A friend gave me some Bahai writings. I even tried to read the Bible a couple of times, which was about as fulfilling as deciphering a Mayan hieroglyph.
Towards the end of that winter, we began investing in livestock for our farm. We purchased a goat, a good package deal that included two kids and a daily portion of milk. The man that sold us the goats happened to be a believer, pastoring a small group in the community nearest to our farm.
The simple testimony of what God did for us through his Son on the cross of Calvary began to work in our hearts. Everything that was wrong in us came under one heading: sin. Everything that was lacking in us could be found in a person: the Lord Jesus Christ. It was not long before we opened our hearts to this message and gave our lives over to him.
That summer ended up being the turning point in our lives. The spiritual void within was filled. It became evident that the struggle to destroy self while deifying it in the search for truth was an unsustainable paradox. Happiness and meaning come not by emptying, but by receiving that which is lacking.
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:9-10)
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Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. - Proverbs 25:25
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