Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CWAS Excerpt Number Eleven

The Revelation

This excerpt is from the eleventh chapter of Conversations with a Stranger by Larry Tate

I looked over my notes during the first few days at the new job site. I had a bad habit of being too detail oriented. Not only had I entered all of my notes on my laptop computer, but I had even titled my notes as if I was writing a book. Sitting there on my nightstand was a neatly stapled stack of notes entitled Conversations with a Stranger. Sometimes I had to shake my head at myself when wondering why I did the things I did.

His assumptions and conclusions regarding the existence of God did seem to make a lot of sense. And they could be quite convincing to someone who was not as analytical as I was. But he was not dealing with the average Joe. He was dealing with me. Still not convinced, I put the notes back in my suitcase.

Days came and went. Each time I left the motel room, I would notice a Bible on the lamp stand by the door. One evening, finding myself rather bored, I glanced over at the Bible. It caused me to think about my conversations with the stranger. He had said that his proofs were not actually his own proofs. Instead, they were the products of great men from the past. Not once had he mentioned a proof from the Bible. That struck me as odd. Normally, Christian fanatics point to the Bible to back up and prove virtually everything they are promoting. Was that stranger one of those Christian fanatics? If so, why didn’t he refer to the Bible? If not, why did he care about proving God’s existence? I was beginning to wonder about the stranger. He didn’t seem to fit either category.

I decided that since I was stuck in a motel room for no telling how long, I might as well read the Bible. It would be interesting to see what it had to say about God and His existence.

I tackled my Bible reading just like everything else I did. I read it from cover to cover; frontward and backward. I even went so far as to make my own flash cards. Starting with page number one, I began reading and taking notes. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. I ended up being gone from home a little more than four months. During that time I had amassed many notes taken from that motel Bible. Although the Bible was interesting indeed, I was not able to find any absolute proof of God’s existence in the Bible.

One night before going to bed, I labored over my notes one more time. I just couldn’t find anything to point to and definitively state that I had finally proven that God exists. I went to bed that night thinking about my quest. My mind drifted to all of the Bible characters who claimed to know God. It seemed as though they had a certain peace and stability about them. It seemed as though they had a purpose that defined their lives.

Before going to sleep, I murmured to myself, I don’t know if God exists but if he does, I sure would like to know him the way those people did. Finally, a fitful sleep overtook me. I tossed and turned for hours. Suddenly, I woke up and bolted to a sitting position. Had I heard a knock at the door? I raced to the window and looked outside. No, it wasn’t anyone at the door. I went back and sat down on the edge of the bed. My heart was pounding and my mind was racing. I had been awakened by my own thoughts. I can’t say how it happened, but a common theme from my Bible notes was playing itself out in my mind over and over again. I tried going back to bed, but I couldn’t clear my mind.

Finally, I got out of bed, turned on my light, and began typing furiously on my laptop computer. By morning I was exhausted, but satisfied. Out of the hundreds of pages in the Bible, the truth of God’s existence along with His plan for me was staring me in the face. How could I have missed it all those years?

A week later, I wrapped up business on the out-of-town project and arranged to go back home.

The above excerpt is from the copyrighted book Conversations with a Stranger by Larry Tate

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