When I was growing up, the highlight of my week would be a game of football, rugby or tennis and then looking forward to Match of the Day or A Question of Sport. Thinking back, sport was the most important feature of my life. I’ve always enjoyed any activity, and I’m always a bit too competitive! I wanted to be fit, to be the best I could be at a variety of sports. I lived and breathed sport.
But a point came when I realised there is more to life than succeeding and being popular. This moment changed my life – literally – and my priorities, and it was all to do with Jesus Christ.
Praying for the first time
I regularly went to church and youth club with my family and friends, but didn’t see much point. During the summer holidays, I went on camps, and those weeks were full of fun and activities. There were times where we studied the Bible, but again, I didn’t see much point. But on one of these camps, while listening to the preacher, I learnt that people are separated from God because we have done wrong. As a result we are not in a relationship with God. The Bible clearly says that Jesus Christ came to the world in order to right our wrongs, and by believing in Jesus Christ, we can have that relationship with God restored.
That day I was aware that I needed to pray to God for forgiveness, and in all honesty it was the first time I had properly prayed. I prayed specifically for everything that I had done wrong, and asked for forgiveness. I knew if I believed in him as a personal Saviour that Jesus’ death on the cross meant that all my sins had been paid for.
Turning to God
Since then, I have been trying to follow God in my life. I still fail and I still let him down, but I know that this doesn’t change my standing before God. Although he knows that I’ll let him down, he still promises to forgive my sins. Looking back over the years, I can see God has been working in my life in many ways. Through grace, he has guided me, and there are some instances in my life where I have seen God working specifically in me.
After training to be a teacher, I applied for a job in Mid Wales. For no reason at all, I felt that God wanted me and my wife to move and that I would be successful in my interview. Nine years down the line, I can see why God wanted us to move to Machynlleth, and it was for the work of the gospel. I’m now a leader in Machynlleth Community Church, preaching regularly and leading youth work. I never saw myself getting so involved in the work of a local church. But now I have a burden for the people of the town. I want to see God working in their lives as he has worked in my life and in the lives of other members in the church.
Sport was the most important thing in my life and it still plays a big part, but now my relationship with God is the central thing in my life. It is to God that I turn to, to make sure that I lead my wife and family to walk faithfully with him. It is God that I turn to, to guide me in raising my children and showing them the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus. It’s to God that I give my life fully, trusting him with my whole life, knowing that wherever he leads me, I know there is no other place that is better for me.