The man walked into the diner that morning, just like any morning. He sat down at his favorite table and waited for his hot breakfast. All was the same. Except this morning, he sat at the table with his shoulders drooped, and his blue eyes glazed.
He was in his late sixties and pondered how the years flew by so fast. It only seemed like yesterday when he got married, had children, and had developed his successful career. He had achieved the American dream. Life was good . . . or so it seemed.
Something was still missing. He was feeling empty and unsatisfied.
Questions like, “What is life? Where will I go after this life? Will I live in a place called heaven? Is there really a hell?”, loomed in his mind.
He sat at the table thinking, when he noticed a baby nearby in a stroller.
Memories of his own childhood started to flash by like a silent movie. Life was hard, but simple then. Times have changed.
The baby’s cries suddenly brought him out of his childhood past. He looked at the newborn and wondered if its future would be kind and satisfying.
At a nearby table, he heard a group of young teenagers laughing and talking. He thought about how this newborn would soon grow up to be a teenager, too.
The old man listened to the young kids and heard “Jesus” and “born-again.” It was so odd for him to hear well-groomed teenagers talk about such things. Surely, only weirdos talked about Jesus.
But these kids didn’t seem like weirdos. They seemed like good kids. If anything, they reflected joy and the love of life. They weren’t using profane language, texting on cell phones, or playing video-games. Instead, they were spending their time talking about Jesus. How odd. He wondered if they found life satisfying.
The old man listened to these teenagers more intently. They were talking about how Jesus was telling this man in the Bible that he needed to be “born-again” to enter heaven.
Born-again? How does a person become born-again? What nonsense. The topic only made him more curious to hear.
One teen boy stated that being born-again was the best ever. He continued, “I found the missing piece. Life is so satisfying now, dude!”
Missing piece? Life satisfying?
The teen boy continued, “When I realized that I was not right with God, and God had a free pass for me to receive His forgiveness through Jesus . . . dude . . . how could I not accept that. Jesus is so awesome! Can’t believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Can’t believe that God forgives me through Jesus! After receiving Jesus into my life, repenting of my sins and following God, life is so satisfying now! I’m really born-again!”
The other teens agreed with him, like a choir singing in unison.
Strange. The old man remembered how his mother took him to church as a young boy. He remembered singing songs about Jesus. That was all he remembered. His mother died when he was 8 years old. No one took him to church since then, and he never wanted to enter church since then, either.
More pictures rolled in his mind like flash cards; pictures of what he did wrong in his life. Unkind words to the man at the grocery store. Insensitivity towards his wife. His heart of unforgiveness towards a friend who betrayed him. Pictures of his past would not stop. Slowly, a tear rolled down his face, until he began to sob uncontrollably.
Words silently flowed out of his mouth, “I’m so sorry God. Forgive me. I am sinner. I don’t know much about you, but I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Please come into my life and help me to follow you.”
Suddenly, like a tidal wave hitting the sands on the beach, the old man felt his soul flood with a love and peace beyond all understanding. There was no condemnation. Just forgiveness, love, and acceptance.
The old man found the missing piece and was now satisfied. Life was anew. This man was forgiven. He was born-again.
And then the man heard a still, small voice say, “The old has gone, the new has come. You are now a new creation in Me.”
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