So, 41 years ago today, while driving a 60’s era Volvo sedan on route 84 outside of Plainville, Connecticut, I asked God to save me from my sin, and he did! I realized that Jesus Christ had died for me on the cross so my sins could be forgiven.
I have been feeling nostalgic, so I am writing the story of how that all came to happen.
February 1973, Sprague Hall, University of Connecticut. It’s Sunday morning, and I am actually awake. Usually I sleep all day Sunday and wake up when it’s time for my girlfriend to return to campus. She goes home every weekend so she can go to “meeting” on Sunday morning, what most people call “church”. Anyway, I turn on the radio to the one FM station we can get in Storrs, Connecticut, and they are playing one of my favorite songs: Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack. All of a sudden, some guy starts talking over the song! How aggravating! But what he says catches my attention:
I saw a piece of life in a pinball machine the other day.
Cool! I love pinball! Before video games pinball was IT. I fancied myself quite the player, though not a pinball wizard. So I listen as he continues.
I was on my last ball, and it was heading straight for the ball dump, and that would be it, game over. But I caught the ball just a little bit with one flipper, pushed it to the other flipper, hit the Special Target, and I won a whole new game.
I understood this feeling exactly and there was nothing like it. See, in Connecticut and some other states, it is considered gambling to award a free game since that has actual value, so you could only win a free ball. But in New Jersey where I learned to play, a free game was what you got, and that’s what you played for. The machine would make a *knock* sound, and you knew you had won another game! It was really exhilarating! Then he said:
That’s what it’s like when you get Jesus in your life. Your life can be headed straight for the dumps, but get Jesus in your life, even just a little, and you get a whole new game.
I was completely stunned. Here was some random guy on the radio talking about pinball and he relates it to Jesus. It turns out it was a Christian radio broadcast relayed from some place in Texas, and it aired every Sunday morning on our station. And it was exactly what I needed to hear, because my life was heading straight for the dumps, and I sure needed something. I had recently turned twenty years old, and my life had been going downhill for some time due to my own actions. This incident was the continuation of God’s efforts to get me to pay attention to eternity, and to consider the fate of my own soul.
TO BE CONTINUED…