How I Came to Believe in the Bible
Having been brought up a Catholic, I attended mass every Sunday as a boy in my home-town catholic church where I not only had catechism classes but also learnt to play the piano. I continued attending church in high school at Starehe Boys' Centre where all Catholic students were required to be in mass every Sunday.
To be honest, I can't remember giving much thought to the Bible and its teachings as a teenager even though I attended church religiously every Sunday. All I know is that I read it so that I could pass my exams in Christian Religious Education (CRE) subject that we studied at school.
In my late teens during my time in Starehe Institute when I started giving thought to issues in life, I began to doubt the literary accuracy of the Bible. But despite my diminishing faith in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, I continued attending church at my home-town Catholic parish. I used to sneak out of Starehe early in the morning every Sunday to be in the church where I was part of the parish's youth group.
And you know what? I never hid my diminishing faith in the Bible from my fellow youth church members. I used to engage them in lively debates during which I suggested Jesus was a fictional legend. What I find admirable in my fellow youth church members back then is that they tolerated and accepted me even though I was weak in faith, just as St. Paul advises Christians in Romans 14:1. The youth members even elected me as their choir-master in December 2006 despite my unbelief.
Come April 2007 when I left Starehe Institute and before matriculating at JKUAT, I decided to find a new church in Nairobi I could be attending when I was at the university. I visited two catholic churches but somehow, they didn't click with me. Then one Sunday that April, I went to All Saints' Cathedral in Nairobi even though I was a Catholic. And wow! The warm reception I received in cathedral instantly hooked me to the church. I came to love and enjoy being part of the cathedral's 9.30am English service choir.
When I joined the cathedral's choir, I thought I could engage its members in the same sort of arguments about the Bible that I had involved youth members in my previous church. How mistaken I was! The choir operated on a different set of rules. It required that I stay on probation for one month after which I would have an interview with its committee members.
And do you know what the choir interview entailed? It was just a confirmation that I believed in the Bible and in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. I flopped my interview because the committee members who grilled me sensed I didn't believe that much in the Bible. And one of them remarked that I wasn't clear-headed.
Even though I wasn't permitted to sing in the choir at the end of my one-month probation period, I continued attending church in the cathedral every Sunday and fell in love with Anglican hymns. And gradually, I came to believe in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.
These days, I study the Bible regularly and give thought to what it says. Like I am currently working on my sleeping habits to make them in tune to what the Word of God says. My goal is to know and understand the Bible so much that I lead a life of constant victory: a life of joy, peace and prosperity.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on how I came to believe in the Bible, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Part 2: Lessons From The Bible". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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Keeping Good Company
When I was discharged from the University of Nairobi clinic in April 2011, I didn't want to go back to my home in Kiserian, about 40 kilometres from Nairobi. I disliked staying at home back then because I would be forced to do such boring menial tasks as fetching firewood, milking cows and cooking meals in a sooty kitchen. So I asked my family to let me live in Nairobi instead of going back home.
At first, some of my family members objected to me staying in the city because they thought I should live at home where I could be monitored as a recovering patient. But somehow, I succeeded in convincing them to let me stay in Nairobi in a hostel whose rent they agreed to pay. I chose to stay at a hostel in Ngara, on the outskirts of down-town Nairobi, a few days after being discharged from UoN clinic. My good friend Michael Njeru helped me carry my belongings in his car.
That night after I reported at the hostel, I found myself in the same room with a guy called Derrick. Several days later, another guy called Charles joined us. I got along with those two room-mates well for a few weeks. And they seemed to be good company because they counselled me in my low moments.
But alas! How wrong I was to think that Derrick and Charles were good company! They both loved drinking. But it's their violent outbursts that I came to loathe. Imagine one night after his drinking, Derrick became hostile towards me for no reason. He shouted at me angrily and smashed a bottle of beer on the floor. Luckily, he didn't do any physical harm to me.
Then several days later, Charles became angry with me after I took his belt without his permission. In his anger, he threw water at me while asking me whether I learnt any manners at Starehe Boys' Centre, my Alma Mater. And then he bluntly told me the books he had seen me reading would never add any value to my life.
I somehow managed to tolerate Derrick's and Charles's violent outbursts towards me. But I did feel resentment in my heart towards them during my time in the hostel.
One night during that time I was staying in the hostel, I decided to take a walk around Ngara. Just in case I got mugged, I left my phone in the hostel. And guess what! As I was walking in Ngara that night, I discovered a road a few hundred metres from the hostel was littered with prostitutes. This came as a surprise to me because before then, I had thought street-walkers were only in Koinange Street in down-town Nairobi. It hadn't occurred to me that they were also in Ngara where I was staying.
The prostitutes I saw in Ngara were dressed to kill. And I confess that I developed a habit of visiting that road they did their business just to admire their bodies. But I am gratefully glad to report that even though I did admire their bodies, I never became one of their customers.
What I found enlightening in my visits to the red-light district was that some of the prostitutes looked like mothers, the kind I had been taught to trust and obey. Others looked young and innocent, the kind I would naturally want to ask out for a date. Learning that such beautiful and innocent-looking women could be filthy was truly an enlightening experience.
Around that time I discovered the red-light district of Ngara, I happened to hear my room-mate Derrick lament his bad moods one night. He looked visibly disturbed and downcast. And I remember him saying he felt like going to the red-light district to have an affair with a prostitute. That tells how bad a company I was getting into.
Fortunately, I decided to go back home in Kiserian after staying in the hostel for two or three months. It was fortunate of me to go back home because I wonder what would have become of me if I continued keeping bad company of Derrick and Charles as well as the prostitutes I had come to enjoy seeing. I am sure they would have ruined my character because as St. Paul says in 1st Corinthians 15:33, "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'"
I urge you, my dear reader, to also strive to keep good company. If you live with people who lack ambition, who are slovenly, slipshod or with people of low flying ideals, you will also tend to reflect their qualities. If you read inferior books, or associate with perpetual failures, with people who botch their work, your own standards will suffer from that contagion. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on keeping good company, you might also enjoy another story I wrote sometimes back on "Book Review: Be Inspired Before You Expire." Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.