Editor, Times-Union:
Today, Monday,  7/9/2012, I am celebrating my “spiritual birthday” that took place exactly 73 years ago.
“Revival meeting” was in its second day at Poseyville Methodist Church, about 3-1/2 miles north of Bremen, Ga. (Two services daily gave all the churches in the community time for their eight-day “revival” series each summer – followed, hopefully, by baptism of any new converts.)
At 17, and a high school senior, Gladys, (my “steady”) and I were in the choir. At the closing, “invitation” song, a prayer from deep inside me sprang up, like I had never prayed before.
“Lord Jesus, I’m tired of running away from You. I want to run with you.”
I had “said” prayers from childhood, but that prayer is the first one I remember praying in my life. And I was 17.
I put down my song book, left the choir, and went to the altar of prayer. After the benediction and a time of joyful hugs, handshakes, etc. I headed home to tell my dad who was working on the new house we were building. It made him happier, probably, than he had even remembered, to have his one son, for whom he had prayed for years, join the other 10 (all girls) join him and my mother in the “spiritual birth” experience that Jesus talked to Nicodemus about. (St. John, chapter 3).
Dad and I were great pals, and planned to farm together. But he told me later many times he’d rather I followed God’s plan than to have stayed on the farm and helped make him the richest farmer in Georgia! (Or something like that.)
He happily went to Heaven at age 89 some time ago. And here his only son is a retired United Methodist minister and already past 90 and one of Grace Village’s happy retirees – far from Georgia but headed for one more big trip, to the “New Jerusalem” (after many trips in many countries in this beautiful world).
John Robert Boggs Jr.
Winona Lake, via e-mail