I am not sure if I completely doubt the existence of god becase the idea that a god doesn’t exist is a bit of a mind boggler. I don’t think it is possible that life began from nothing but I don’t believe that life started the way that the Bible said either. I think that there may be a possibility that a higher being exists but just not the one from the different religions. There’s so much evil going on in this world right now that people are starting to doubt god. If god was all good and all powerful then why is there evil in this world? A question like this that makes me ponder but I am not one to answer those questions. All I can do is speculate.
With Awana ending for me, I went back to being a regular kid. The thought of church barely lingered in my mind. I had a part time job delivering newspaper around my neighbourhood and that kept me busy for a while. But the church people didn’t give up on me. They came by to my house and asked if I wanted to attend another church service. This one was for teens and it was held every Friday night. It was called Powerhouse.
In a way, Powerhouse did a good job at keeping kids off the street during the evening. Instead of running around the streets at night, we would gather in the gym of Philpott Memorial Church to play games. These games were even better than the Awana games and it was a bit more competitive. We would play for about two and a half hours and then spend the last 30 minutes in bible study. These bible studies were a bit different from the Awana sessions.
We would get into little groups of five or so and each group would get a counselor. These counselors were people who were relatively close to our age group. They told us about their lives and why they followed Jesus and we would listen. I really wasn’t into this whole bible thing but I listened anyways. I don’t remember any of their stories though but I do remember that these guys were cool.
Again, I only attended because of the games and the fun. I had such a good time that I eventually started asking some of my friends to attend. After they started going, things got a lot more competitive and a lot more fun. We all got to know each other but it wasn’t like Awana. The people that I talked to during Powerhouse, I barely talk to in school. It was as if there was a different atmosphere there.
The people that ran Powerhouse were great. They were the best counselors that I’ve ever met. They were the one that made bible study fun. Sometimes, I found myself eagerly waiting for bible study time. They didn’t just preach from the bible, they told stories from it and put it in a way that kept teenagers interested. If they had a point to make, they made sure to say it in a level that we understood. The bible isn’t hard to understand but you have to make sure that you put it into perspective so kids will understand it. I don’t think kids want to hear about a group of people walking around the dessert for forty days and forty nights, that’s boring. Hearing about Moses parting the Red Sea, now that was cool!
Eventually my time with Powerhouse came to an end because now I was moving on to high school. Powerhouse was made for kids in middle school and I was done with middle school. They asked me to attend for a bit longer so I did but it wasn’t the same. There was a bit of a break during the summer because people were going on vacation and stuff. But when it started up again in September, it was different. The counselors weren’t the same anymore. Some of them barely remembered who I was. Eventually, I stopped going. I didn’t keep in touch with the counselors though. If I see them around town and recognize them, I would wave and have a short little conversation with them but that’s about all.
Before leaving, they gave me a bible, the King James Version of the New Testaments. This particular bible was written so it made it easier for kids to learn it. On one page were the verses and on the other page was a paraphrased version of the verses. I remember that I was eager to read it because I’ve never read the bible before. I started with Genesis but I don’t remember finishing it. I read about how god created the earth and the heaven, man and women, plants and animals. But I think I stopped reading after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. In later chapter, they had children and their children had children and so on and so forth. That’s as far as I got.
After this second attempt at gaining the faith, I still didn’t have much. The counselors would tell me that I would need to accept Jesus into my heart if I wanted to go to heaven. But that got me thinking. Why not just accept god into your heart instead? They told me that if I prayed to god, I would get an answer. I tried praying but I never received any response. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that because my prayers weren’t answer, god didn’t exist. It was a conclusion that I came to on my own. I am not trying to persuade anyone else to think the same. Everyone has the freedom to believe what they want, be it right or wrong.