Born Again

New Year’s Eve – December 31st, 1994. Sitting alone in my room, posted at my desk, I comes correct to my Maker. Chris Isaac’s “Two Hearts” plays for the ninth time. The True Romance soundtrack is my fellow New Year’s celebrator. Spending the evening alone is probably the best way to spend it. I say. ‘Tis true. Why am I here? And what is missing? Not company. What’s missing inside me?

My name is Michael Tolosa. ‘Since I was born, I’ve called myself a Christian. I was raised in a Christian family. I was enrolled in a Christian elementary school. I’ve always gone to church. Don’t question my knowledge of the Bible, ’cause I’ll put you in your place with my exploding knows. Sure, I gots all my Bible stuff together. It was all I knew. I was just a Christian. That’s all there was to it.

It was the summer before my Junior year in high school. I met a crew that was way down with Christianity. I didn’t know any Christians on my way up the elementary, junior and high school levels. But I met some peers that held up the sword. Took the label like there was nothing cooler to do. So, I took it up, too.

Met a girl at school. She’s a Christian. I start looking for the Christians in the school. Find some. Start up a Bible study. Got a crew o’ high school students, all taking up the sword of righteousness and forming a small army. I’m a soldier for two years.

My Senior year showed a major backslide. Shunned my fellow soldiers and ran with the masked crew. Fun abounded, but my spirit dissolved to nothing. My eyes were closed and it took an accident and a concussion to sharpen up my senses. A bit of reform, but not quite da supa’.

I was just chillin’ for a year and a half, then found myself face-to-face with Chris Isaac, questioning my salvation. It was time to check myself, ’cause it was all definitely questionable.

I don’t know if I was really a Christian before last New Year’s. I sure had the knowledge and I sure had some fruit. But was it just the result of being raised in a certain ideology? Sure, those people who say religion is just based on how one is raised, they’re partly right.

I’ll tell you, without the Holy Spirit’s regeneration, religion is a matter of preference. It’s a culture, only true to you if you want it to. They’re right. That’s why they’re so sure. So, is Christianity just a preference to you? Is Christianity just the way you were raised? Do you only have the fruit ’cause you were raised to behave and think that way? That’s the most deceptive.

Christianity is just a preference without the Holy Spirit’s regeneration. But once you’re regenerated, it’s life. It’s all there is. It’s life. I don’t know if I was really a Christian before last New Year’s, but after that night, I know I am now. After that night, I had life. All I can say is “check yo’self.”

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