This is a question I was often asked when I was a Telephone Samaritan. But after listening to some poor, pathetic soul tell me their miserable story of abuse, rejection, and downright misery, I'd struggle to know how best to reply. 'Please convince me', they would plead, in their distress, despair and now tempted to suicide. But I'm not sure if I ever did, as to be perfectly honest, back then I wasn't really sure myself!
It was to be several more years before I became truly convinced by finding what could be described as the Way to REAL Life... by becoming a follower of Jesus.
If each of our lives could be described as a journey, then the 'route' which mine took could be summarised as follows...
I grew up believing that my life was my own and I could take whichever pathway I chose... so long as it was legal! It was to be a long time before I realised that God had a plan for my life, but that He wouldn't force it upon me against my will.
Although I believed in the existence of God and went to church now and again, I didn't realise that my life wasn't my own at all. My life was really God's, twice over... by creation and redemption. Because He had made me, and His Son, Christ Jesus, had died for me, He had the right to run my life.
By the time I'd reached my mid 20's, and having tried most things, I was finding my life aimless. It felt as though there was something missing. Looking back my life experience could be described as 'sub-standard'... less than it could be.
It was only after having had the story of Jesus fully explained to me did the whole thing make sense. I began to realise that my previous understanding of such matters was nothing more than a watered down version of the truth.
Having sought His forgiveness and surrendered my life to Him in 1974 He has kept me from going 'off the rails' ever since... and with His promise of heaven.
All of this has been achieved through the life, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. And in asking Him into my life as Saviour and Lord, I was given a completely new start, with meaning, purpose and direction... as well as the motivation and power of His Spirit to help me live a lifestyle... pleasing to Him.
Though life today is still a struggle, I now have no doubt that it's well worth living!