It was a grey overcast evening when Chuck Colson, caught in the middle of the Watergate investigation, drove up to the home of Tom Phillips, a respected friend and successful businessman. Settling in on the back porch with a glass of iced tea in hand, they began to discuss where life was going for each of them. In his book, Born Again, Chuck Colson writes of the dramatic change that came into his life that evening. “I am not doing too badly, I guess,” said Colson. … “But I’d rather talk about you, Tom. You’ve changed and I’d like to know what happened.”
‘The success came, all right, but something was missing,’ he mused, ‘I felt terrible emptiness.’ I don’t understand it, I interrupted. … You were a straight arrow, … everything in fact going your way. ‘All that may be true, Chuck,’ Tom responded, ‘but my life wasn’t complete. … [T]here was a big hole in my life. … One night I was in New York on business and noticed that Billy Graham was having a Crusade in Madison Square Garden. … What Graham said that night put it all into place for me. I saw what was missing, the personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the fact that I hadn’t ever asked Him into my life, hadn’t turned my life over to Him. So I did it – that very night at the Crusade’” (pp. 108-110). Colson was impressed, and they talked well into the night. Chuck began to “get the message” but held off pursuing the matter any further. Then Tom asked if they could pray together before Chuck left. “As Tom prayed, something began to flow into me – a kind of energy. Then came a wave of emotion which nearly brought tears. I fought them back. … As I drove out of Tom’s driveway, the tears were rolling uncontrollably. … I pulled to the side of the road … [and] prayed my first real prayer. ‘God, I don’t know how to find You, but I’m going to try! … [S]omehow I want to give myself to You.’ I didn’t know how to say more, so I repeated over and over the words: Take me” (pp. 115-117)
Chuck Colson struggled. There were many questions, but he knew what he had to do. Some decisions are not easily made, but Chuck knew he could go on no further; he had to make a decision. So, “[E]arly … Friday morning, words I had not been certain I could understand or say fell naturally from my lips: ‘Lord Jesus, I believe You. I accept You. Please come into my life. I commit it to You.’… With those few words that morning … there came something more: strength and serenity, a wonderful new assurance about life. … I was coming alive to things I’d never seen before” (p. 130).
Chuck Colson’s experience mirrors what I have been saying here. There can be no relationship with God except through Jesus Christ, but once one has the courage to invite his forgiveness and welcome Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior, it marks the beginning of a journey that is truly life-changing. For Chuck it began with a simple prayer of surrender, but by that prayer, he met Jesus Christ on a personal level, and that changed everything!