It was Spring Break of my sophomore year in college and my best friend and classmate invited me to his home in Los Angeles for a week. It was my first time visiting many of the tourist landmarks of the City of Angels and a special treat was an intimate visit through Koreatown. He and his family were first generation Koreans and lived a mile away from the largest Koreatown in the United States. He was excited to share his favorite restaurants and markets of his childhood. It was an amazing week of food, surpassed only by his mother’s superb cooking. Every dinner was a banquet of Korean delicacies, sparing no expense. I knew these were special meals since my friend’s sister kept remarking, “Mom! You haven’t made this in years!”
Their generous spirit made a deep impression upon me but it was their faith in God that moved me. Devoutly religious, the family always said grace before each meal. Led by the father, the prayers were conducted in Korean. Although I spoke no Korean, I viscerally felt the intensity of his prayers within my soul. Dinner was often filled with conversations about how God was teaching them lessons about life. I politely listened, having nothing to add, but intently interested in hearing about a slice of life for which I had no background.
After dinner, the father sat down in front of the television, while my classmate and his younger sister sat on either side of their mother on the sofa. They both lovingly grabbed the closest hand of their mother and gently held it as his sister leaned her head on her mother’s shoulder. As I gazed upon this tender scene, I didn’t know what was happening but I knew I would like to have this.
You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you.
1 Peter 4:2-4 (NLT)
Until that point in my life, I was vehemently anti-Christian. My life was entirely self-centered, fixated on instant gratification and achieving success at any cost. Meeting my friend in college was one way God began to change my heart. The visit to his home was a major turning point and within a week after I returned to my college campus, I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
I wanted to have what my friend and his family so graciously shared with me. God’s grace and mercy granted my deepest desire, to find salvation and eternal life through faith and belief in Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.