I was sitting with my daughter Victoria in a Second Cup café today partly because she has her reading week this week and some free time. As I was musing on reading weeks and their importance in the life of the student—and the teacher—I recalled a very important reading week thirty-four years ago. I find it hard to believe that so much time has passed, but it has.
It was the Sunday following the University of Toronto’s reading week of 1974. I was at the worship service of Stanley Avenue Baptist Church, Hamilton, Ontario. The preacher was a Welshman by the name of Davies—was it Elwyn Davies?—and he preached one of those Spirit-anointed sermons one never forgets, and which we need far more of these days, and then gave an “altar call.” Within a minute the front of the church was packed with thirty or so people, among them myself. I came forward to give my life to Christ.
Then later that week, in the privacy of my apartment, I gave myself unreservedly to the Triune God and knew what it was to be a Christian. When was the moment of regeneration and when the hour of conversion? I am not sure, but O how I wish I had lived up to the commitment I made then. But if I have failed the Lord, He has never ever failed me.
But, whatever my failings and sins, there has been no turning back. And that because of God’s grace. I would not have seen that then. But I sure do now: only divine grace can enable perseverance. Eternal praises to His Name!