So I asked her why God hadn’t ever spoken to me.
I vividly remember her answer; “Often it takes a tragedy to humble us so that we will turn to God. Men by nature tend to be quite proud”. I retorted, “I’m not that kind of person, I’m not proud”. But when I reflect on it, I was very proud.
My mother said, “I’m not going to force you to come to church. But remember this one thing. Whatever you do in life, wherever you go, no matter how far you think you’ve gone away from God, remember this one thing; if you’re in trouble and in need, cry out to God from your heart, and he will hear you. He will really hear you and forgive you.”
I remembered those words. They stuck in my mind.
But I decided that rather than be a hypocrite..... I wouldn’t go back to church..... because I had never really had an experience with God.
It was basically just religion to me.
I travelled on up through Java, Singapore, Tiomen Island and into Malaysia, then onto Colombo, Sri Lanka with a Dutch woman I had met up with. Once there, I made my way up the coast to surf Arugum Bay.
After a month of awesome waves my visa was running out so I returned to Colombo.
I befriended some Tamil people in Colombo who welcomed me into their home and family life.
One time while I was staying with them we all travelled to the hidden city of Katragarma. While I was at this sacred city I had my first supernatural experience. As I was looking at a carved idol I actually saw its lips move.
I was deeply disturbed by this experience and I wanted to get out of that place as soon as I could!
As I continued to live with my Tamil friends, I observed that each day they would offer food to their household idol, the elephant god Garnesh. Some days they would clothe it, other days bath it in milk or water. It seemed strange to me that a person could believe a stone idol could be a god, as some one had obviously made it with their own hands.
But looking at that stone statue one day I felt an evil yet powerful presence emanating from it. It surprised and intimidated me.
Then into my mind these words came, “You shall have no other God but me and you shall not bow down to any graven image or idol.” Immediately I realized that this was one of the Ten Commandments found in the Bible (Exodus 20:4-5) and I began to reflect on these words that I had heard way back at Sunday school.
In my own way I was on a journey to find the ‘meaning to life’. At times I considered myself an atheist, and at other times a ‘free thinker’. These experiences made me think about supernatural things but I didn’t have enough understanding of them to interpret them. I wanted to experience every thing that life had to offer, and at that time my philosophy was simply to live life as fully as I could. In those years I never wore a watch … I lived in a timeless zone of sunrises & sunsets.
To be cont'd