But my life didn't change. I didn't change what I did with my time, money or friends. Mid-way through my time at university even I could see that this just wasn't working.
- I'd had a great girl friend when I was 17, but I hadn't had one since - even though I was chasing every girl within a five mile radius!
- Previously work had been easy, but that term they cranked it up a notch at university and for the first time I really found myself struggling.
- My dad had been a great rock of stability in my life, but in the same few weeks his work closed down and he was unemployed. No longer was the future certain, and I needed his money to help me get through college!
It was a real struggle, because what would I do if Jesus told me to do something I didn't want to do? The worst combination I could think of was being an unmarried priest! How could I do that?!
What brought me through was all those years of Bible stories as a kid: I realised that God had made me, so he knows me better than I know myself - just like a child making a model out of Lego knows better than the bricks what they're constructed to be. And because God loves me I could trust him to want the best for me as well. I needed to understand both, not just a God who knows me, but also a God who loves me.
So, I gave in. I surrendered. I told Jesus that I'd follow what he wanted and consult him before I took my decisions. I began to learn that apart from him I can produce nothing worthwhile, nothing that will last. That decision has led to a fantastic marriage to Cathy, with Chris and Alice whom I adore, some great job choices, and in 2006 a move from England to Missouri...
Trouble is, I keep getting back in control. I keep trying to do what seems right to me. Now, though, I don't stay there - I've had twenty years of discovering that Jesus who made me and loves me really does know better than I do.