All journeys start with a single step, but isn't it strange that the first step is always the hardest, and you are able to find many ways to encourage yourself not to take it?

This is very true of my journey to becoming a Christian.

Even now, it blows my mind that I just typed that line!

Table Of Contents

Spiritual things don’t come easy to me. I am naturally sceptical of anything that I can’t see, hear, touch etc. This was only magnified by my love of science, and working as a scientist for much of my life. 

I had no spiritual input during my childhood; my parents are both unbelievers and I knew no Christians in my school. 

The only thing I knew about God was from the Religious Education lessons I had to endure at school.

Early Doubts As A Child And Growing Up

Growing up in the ‘70’s and 80’s in the UK was dominated by the Troubles in Ireland. Every evening there was another bomb going off. This turmoil was heightened by religious differences, and this probably affected me more than I realised. 

I developed a real dislike for ‘Religion’ because all I could see it doing was to promote strife and conflict. I mean, if there really was a God, why is there all this war and conflict being done in His name? It just didn’t make any sense to me. 

Of course, this was a very skewed version of reality, and it also shows how the power of the media can really influence the culture. Haven’t you noticed that pretty much all of the news you see and hear is bad news? ‘A plane crashed today, killing x people!’ But what about the hundreds of others which took off and landed safely?

We all walk around with a skewed sense of the world around us, so we really need to be careful what we are filling our minds with.

Still Doubting, But Always Open (kind of)!

I must point out at this point that I was never an atheist. I think that the view of the atheist is rather an arrogant one, because even they can’t 100% prove there is no God. 

Rather, I was more of an agnostic; ever so slightly open to the idea of a higher power, but couldn’t really see any evidence for it. Being a scientist, evidence was very important to me, much more so than morality or ethics.

But at least the atheist has powerful convictions. I had none of those. I was very ambivalent towards God, if He existed. In fact, I couldn't care less about His existence. This makes me far more arrogant than the atheist because at least he or she has made a stance and stands by it. I didn’t even have time for that.

During my late teens and early twenties, I had no time for spirituality; I was loving life. I was the lead singer in a punk band, and all that the music scene entailed. 

Music was a real passion of mine, and a group of us would go traveling around the country to see our favourite bands. There was no way that anything was going to take that away from me.

It's strange, because although I was somebody who loved logic and evidence, I was not a very deep thinker, philosophically speaking. I never wondered about the purpose of life, death etc. In many respects, I think that I was quite shallow.

Although, my lifestyle was anything but godly, there was definitely something inside me that would stop me going too far; a line that I wouldn’t cross. The conscience is very powerful, and would later convict me and change my life forever.

A Step In A New Direction

In my early twenties, I decided to join the Army as a scientist (yes, they do have them). This was an unusual step for me to take, after all, no self-respecting anarchist would join up, would they? Especially if they were constantly listening to songs like Tin Soldiers and Wasted Life by Stiff Little Fingers.

My family had no military background, so why did I have this sudden urge to sign up for Queen and country? All I know is that was a very quick process. Once again, I see God’s hand in this, facilitating the journey.

Not many people walk into an Army Careers Office and state that they wanted to be a scientist. They couldn’t get me to sign up quick enough.

Looking back, I can see the path that God had laid out for my journey to faith, and this was a very significant first step.

This was a very significant chapter in my life. It turned me from an arrogant punk rocker with an attitude, to a man who admired structure and respected others. My dad said that it made me grow up, and he was right.

I ended up serving for 15 years the Armed Forces, but the most significant part of all this, is when I met my wife. Like me, she had no military background in her family, and she didn’t even want to join the Army as a scientist. But due to a number of circumstances, that is where she ended up, and how we met.

At the time, she wasn’t a Christian, but she had been once, but had wandered from her faith. This woman was going to be instrumental in my journey to faith, and this was the reason I was ‘urged’ to join the Army; God had planned to bring us together. 

I’ll end this chapter here. The next chapter starts with marrying my wife and having a family, and is the next significant chapter in my journey to faith…