While Away At College
Have you ever wondered about what redly is most important? I never thought much about it until I was a teenager. My parents sent me away to college and I had been led to believe that studying and doing well in school is what is most importanl. But it was hard competing wilh the other students. lt was at this lime that I began asking myself if studying and doing well in school is really all that important. When I asked my friends whal they thought was really most important, a few said that they did nol know and were trying to find the answer too. However, most would look at me as if to say: "Are you crazy?" "'Everyone knows that having fun is all that's really important." I could not believe that. There must be more to life than just trying to have fun.
The Shoe Factory
The question continued to concem me so much that I finally left college altogether and got a job in a shoe factory in Haverhill, MA. Finally, I decided to make a boat and sail around the world until l found out for myself what really is most important.
I spent all of my savings and bought a 30-foot Navy Surplus Liberty Boat. I put a deck on it and installed an engine. However, before I could get it out to sea. I ran out of money. I was not making enough at the shoe factory to pay for all of the expense of lhe boat. Finally, I began to realize 1hat money is important. I remember saying to myself that money may not be everything bul it sure is way ahead of whatever is in second place. With this in mind, I decided to go back to school. I thought that if I wanted to make money I needed an education so I could get a good job.
I continued in my education umil I finished medical school. I was one of the best students because I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it. My goal was to make money. I even got the top grade in Physiology. After intemship, and three years of residency, I finally started practicing medicine with my father. Suddenly, I was making more money than I had ever dreamed of. After about two years, I began to realize that although money is important, it can not buy happiness and il can not give you peace of mind, and it can not give you a calling on your life thal gives you enthusiasm and purpose, and it can not put a spring in your step and a smile on your face. After I had a family and money, there was still an emptiness.
The Dying Patient
Then one day a very special patient was referred to me. He had tenninal cancer of the pancreas. I had seen many terminal patients before. They were all very upset about dying. However, this man was different. He seemed to have peace of mind even though he was dying. His attitude was such a surprise to me that I finally asked him about it. I will never forget his answer.
He said. "I know that I have cancer and that, I am dying, but I am ready." Well, this answer bothered me even more. " What does that mean?" l asked. 'Well", he said. "when I leave here, I'm going to a better place."
Now I was really confused. I had seen a lot of religious people in my day, but I had never seen anyone who had such pc.ace while they were dying. I thought to myself, he may be going to a better place but I am going to a worse place. Someday I will be in one of these hospital beds and I will go out into eternity and if I do not have what this man has, I will have lost everything. Family, education, job, money: none of these will be enough on that day.
Next I went to several differenl churches. I was desperately looking for lhe answer. What really is most important? Finally, someone told me. Jesus Christ died for my sins. Then He rose from the grave. (The resurrection of Jesus is the best-documented fact in all of history.) When the invitation was given, I went forward and asked God to forgive me for all of my sins and lo save me because of what Jesus did. This is what is really most important. lt was not until I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior and made a commitment to obey Him as my Lord that I understood peace, joy, and love.
If you are like me and have found your life is often like a rat race without much fulfillment, you can find this same joy, peace, and love right now by trusting Jesus as your Savior. Just pray this prayer right now.
"Dear Jesus, I really need help. Forgive me for all my sins and save my soul. I tum from my sins and ask you to come into my heart and be 1hc Lord of my life. I really want you to take control of my life right now. Thank you for hearing my prayer and saving my soul. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen"
Sample of originally published article.