My road map to Jesus
The following is an audio and slideshow presentation of my testimony that I call “My road map to Jesus.” In short, this presentation is about how I was brought from curiousity, to respect, to admiration to reverence of Jesus Christ. Video length = 21:50
My Baptism Testimony
The following a concise outline of my testimonial shared at my baptism on December 21, 2003.
Good morning Brothers, Sisters and Friends.
Over the last few days, I had thought on many occasions about how I would set forth to compose this testimonial. I had come to the conclusion that I would not prepare and speak from the heart. However, last night as I lay in bed I had something stir inside of me that said I should try to see what comes out. Oddly enough I have decided to begin this oration by quoting from an atheist’s point of view. The reason being – I have realized that at one point I was an atheist or one who didn’t concern himself much with the issues of spirituality. I was a “here and now” personality – do what I can with what I can see (my best equals success). That is who I was. As I sat down to type this last night, I had an inclination that led me to go to a certain website: www.atheists.org. At this site I found the following statement:
“Your petitioners are Atheists, and they define their lifestyle as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An Atheist accepts that heaven is something for which we should work now — here on earth — for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it. An Atheist accepts that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.”
I read this now with a heavy heart. A heart that is heavy not with pride or sense of superiority or righteousness or piety but a heart that is heavy with compassion and love for fellow man. A heart that has been convicted by – for – and through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. A heart that has created a longing, a passion and desire to share Christ’s love with the man who has yet to realize the greatest truth of all – Christ suffered, died, and gained victory over sin for each and every one of us!
I have entitled my testimonial “My Road Map to Jesus” and this is because of the four stages that I went through in understanding who Jesus is and what He has done for me and you.
My story begins back in grade 7 when I was merely a junior high student doing his thing at school, hanging out with friends, and playing sports during lunch break. Ever since this time I can remember that I was curious about religion. There was no particular reason for this sense of intrigue nor was there a reason I began thinking about religion at this time – but nonetheless I knew I was interested. I would read about various religions and philosophies occasionally, yet it was by no means a preoccupation or obsession.
During my grade 12 year, I began to mold myself as an individual. I began doing progressively better in school and with more ease and began taking leadership roles and was having a great time. I began my own computer consulting business at this time and nothing could have been better in my life. Everyone saw this in me and I felt it too. Yet, I knew something was missing but didn’t know what. You may say to yourselves “oh it is the same old story where someone has a longing for something profound” but for me it was just a sense of something being incomplete, profound not in its deepness but in its simplicity.
As my final year of high school began, I was invited to church by a friend (Beverly) of mine who I became quite close with as the year went on. However, I must say I did not go to church for solely the reason of learning about religion or solving this sense of incompleteness. I also went because I saw something different in three friends (Beverly, Melody, and Tim) who were around me, three Christian friends. They exhibited characteristics and attitudes that were different from the rest, admirable in there own ways. So I took the attitude of “well I have never been to a church, so why not.” I went for three consecutive weeks to church and found it a really warm and welcoming place. Something was special and I felt immediately at home. Even though it was a Chinese church I felt no sense of isolation or exclusion (as you can probably guess I am not Chinese, in fact my parents are Pakistani-born Muslims). Over the next few months, I occasionally would ask for materials relating to Christianity. Beverly obliged and gave me the Gospel of John and other materials and I began reading on my own and as the year progressed my curiosity grew to a respect for this Jesus I was reading about.
I have always been an individual who never believed in role models. Everyone has imperfections and I believed that one should model themselves after the good qualities in a selection of individuals. All this changed when I began to read about Jesus. As I read more and more on my own my respect grew to admiration and I knew that this was a man that anyone could model himself or herself after. This man exhibited such profound perfection it is almost impossible to express in words unless you read His story.
However, the story doesn’t end here. I later began to scrutinize this material (I guess to see if this Jesus guy was real or not). I can recall writing up three pages of point form notes relating to the Bible (focusing on the Gospel of John) and in these pages I wrote questions I had and apparent contradictions within the text. I had to have these answered. AND I DID.
After answering these questions and spending days subconsciously and consciously thinking about how I would stand in God’s eyes I gained a glimpse of the profound victory.
I knew at that moment what it was to be a follower of Christ and what a joy it was to have Him within me and me in Him. The story of my path to Christ I have often described as “the nerds way” to God since I made three pages of point form notes and researched things. But whatever way anyone comes to God I know that it is by His means and those He puts in our lives. I love Him for that and more and I love my friends for living the Christian life and letting Him shine through them. For if they didn’t let Him shine through them who knows if I would have met Him so early in my life.
So in the end, my curiosity grew to respect and than to admiration and finally into complete reverence. I knew at that moment it was the one thing in my life that I was missing.
I hope that I have been able to share something with you and connect with you as you have listened to me.
I pray that this not be just a story to encourage those who have yet to find Jesus but also a story to encourage those of us who have found Him – that we realize the power He has given us to live His way and bring others to Him by His example and by sharing The Message.
We may never know what others see in us or how we affect others but what I have learned from my story is to never underestimate yourself and how God will use you, whether you realize it at the moment or not.