As a small child I spent many Sundays with my family in various Community Churches; however, when I was about six we quit attending church altogether and went the way of the world. On May 13, 1978 I was immersed into Christ and He added me to His church. My conversion saved my life—literally.

                 Looking back on that Saturday I cannot remember whether I knew what I was getting myself into. I had never heard of Alexander Campbell or Barton W. Stone. I have no recollection of my first realization that my strange new friends worshiped God without mechanical instruments. I could not have cared less how often the Vista Church of Christ took the Lord’s Supper. I was thrilled to be able to partake of it at all!

                  When Ruben taught me the Good News I had enough savvy to know that God’s offer of an unconditional pardon for all of my sins—past, present, and future—was an offer I could not pass up. Following my baptism you could have asked me to worship God by assembling with the church in a garbage dump and humming Amazing Grace on a kazoo and I would have happily obliged—every Sunday until eternity dawned! What a fool I was.

                 Of course I’ve become much more sophisticated in the intervening 29 years. I understand how naive I was back then, thinking that all I had to do was celebrate the grace of God by pouring my heart out to Him in worship. What a fool I was. I have grown to understand that worship is a deep and complex theological subject—nuances staggering, stakes high, consequences for even minor infractions severe.

                 I’m grateful for the religious sophistication but I have to say that things sure were a lot easier back when I was a fool. Worship came a whole lot easier. Praise flowed from the depths of my soul with ease. Confession of personal sin and my own sinfulness was second nature—a given. Thankfulness for redemption occupied a huge part of my daily existence.

                  Now things are different. I have to think a lot harder, be a lot more careful. I must always remember to put on my sophisticated best before I offer worship to God—lest I make a fool of myself.