12 February 2012


1970 and 1994 are two years of drastic changes in my life.  More accurately, the period from late December, 1969 until the end of 1970, and that from September, 1993 through the end of 1994 are two periods of, to me, breathtaking changes.

At the beginning of the first I was a heavy user of drugs, an unreflective agnostic - scarcely even agnostic since the thought of God had scarcely ever crossed my mind; at its end I was a Baptist, no longer using drugs (including tobacco), and beginning to set serious sin aside.

At the beginning of the second I was a pretty sophisticated - but not very happy - Calvinist; by its end I was a Catholic.


Driving taxis had, from the beginning, been something I did not like.  I did not like driving at all.  It made me tense and anxious.  Customers were not easy to deal with.  The day was long - I left the house at 5 in the morning and got home around 7 at night.  I earned enough money, barely, to live on.

Taxicabs use radio communication to talk to the despatcher - and I had a certain amount of electronics knowledge, from my amateur radio experimenting days.  Taking my 'cab into AMFAC to have the radio repaired one day, I talked about my experience - and was offered a job as an electronics technician.  I accepted it.  I stopped driving taxis in about February, 1970 and began working for AMFAC as an electronics technician.

Sue and I were now going to church.  Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Waikiki had a Youth Service every Sunday evening.  It was a preaching service - no Communion - with rock music and a singing Youth Pastor, Bob Turnbull, the "Chaplain of Waikiki Beach."  If this was Christianity, I was enjoying it.

I was not happy with myself, however.  I knew with increasing certainty that my drug use was bad.  I knew from my experience that my living with Susan was bad.  I had begun to know that I was not free.

Susan did not like my drug-taking, and I said I would quit.  I tried, repeatedly, to stop - tried, and failed.  One day in March, having, again, taken LSD - I found myself weeping.  Since I had become a Christian, I had, when I took LSD, never had a 'good trip.'  My last LSD experience that I could call remotely rewarding had been the one that night at Greg's house, with Candace, which led me to Bill Arnold's father's church and to Jesus Christ.  Since then LSD had been frustrating for me.  The drug had physical effects - and I was using increasing doses; it seemed no longer to have any psychic ones.  Marijuana was no longer doing much as a tranquiliser.  Tobacco was beginning to make me sick.  Drugs had become a major issue between me and Susan.

I was weeping because I longed to be free of these burdens.  I was weeping also because I could see that my relation to Susan - now of five months' duration - was deteriorating.  We were making one another unhappy.  I tried to pray - but scarcely knew what to pray for.  I resolved yet again to stop taking drugs.

One evening at church, an announcement was made.  A campus organisation - but it was not strictly for those involved with the University - was going to have an introductory meeting.  Details were given.  The organisation's name was Campus Crusade for Christ.  Did Susan want to go with me?  No, she didn't feel like it - although she did not say so, I think as much as anything she was very unhappy with our living arrangement and our relationship.

When I came back from that meeting and came into our flat, Susan's first, annoyed, remark was, "You've been taking acid again, haven't you?'


herewegokids said...

I would appreciate your prayers for my own marriage. I've been in RCIA for a year and will be confirmed at Easter, but my husband does not see the Church in the light I see it. It's been extremely hard for our marriage and even my older (teenage) children have become somewhat cold to me b/c of it. I know it is hurtful (they homechurch) and probably feels like abandonment. But it simply isn't optional for me. I know it is my home, and I need it so badly. I have heard Scott and Kimberly Hahn's testimony, but being the reverse (wife converting w/o husband) has a different dynamic. Peace be with you, and thank you for your testimony and blog.

John Thayer Jensen said...

Very tough situation and I will pray for you.