2140 Crystal Beach Road, Winter Haven, FL 33880

(863) 293-0689 info@faithbaptistwh.org

My Spiritual Journey – part 1 (by Norm Hammond)

(image from wikipedia)
Here is another story from Norm Hammond.  In this two-part post, Norm writes of coming to Christ as a 42 year old married family man.

The Many Fibers of a Rope
A rope is made of many strands of material for strength. It all begins with the smallest fiber fashioned into a thread, then string which is twisted and woven until it becomes a strong and useful tool. A rope.

The analogy of the beginning of my spiritual journey with the smallest fiber of the rope begins with my early childhood. Our church experience at that time consisted of going to churches on special occasions only where my grandparents had a social presence. These special occasions were Easter, Christmas and Homecoming Sundays. This was the first fiber of the rope.

Even when I joined the Boy Scouts, it was sponsored by a Methodist church in Terre Haute, there was no continuing relationship with any church, I drifted through grade school and high school spiritually. In college, science classes taught me evolution as a scientific proof of origins in spite of all the missing links.
  
Another fiber of the rope was added when I met and married Doris. She had had a much more consistent and positive experience with church than I. She had been saved in Vacation Bible School as a young girl. We attended Babour Ave. Evangelical United Brethren Church in Terre Haute. The people were friendly and we attended some social gatherings.

Another fiber in the rope was added when I left teaching and accepted a position as salesman with the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company. The territory would be worked from home in Ft. Wayne, In. We attended a Methodist church near our North Side home (rental). When we purchased a home on the South Side we began to attend Christ Methodist Church one block from our home. We didn’t have a good experience there so we stopped attending, except for Carol who was active in the youth group.


God Supplied the Fibers of My Rope
As I look back with the perspective of time, I can only explain my spiritual journey by accepting the fact that God was at work directing my path and the paths of others, and guiding my journey to him through them. He was supplying fibers to the rope.

A larger fiber in the rope happened when Dwight was attending Abbett School just two lots from our house. He met a friend, Lex Oren.

Another fiber, Doris became acquainted with Lex’s mother, Barbara. She fixed women’s hair in her home and Doris went to her regularly for hair car. Barbara and her husband, Larry, asked us to go camping and other activities with them. Our friendship grew.

Aunt Esther & Uncle Tom
Meantime another fiber was created. Doris’s Aunt Esther Buck who lived in the country south of Brazil, came to our house with her husband, Tom. She came to attend a statewide meeting of some kind at Immanuel Baptist Church. She and Uncle Tom stayed at our house a few days for the duration of the meeting. Uncle Tom wasn’t too keen on attending the conference, he rode with me while I worked making calls in my territory. He said he really enjoyed riding with me.

Meantime Aunt Esther was attending Immanuel Baptist Church for the statewide meeting. This was a church that I drove by each morning when I went to the office. Architecturally it was different to say the least. I used the think when I passed by, “What a bunch of nuts would build a church building like that!” It looked like a Mexican hat more that it did a church building. Aunt Esther’s and Uncle Tom’s trip to Ft. Wayne was no accident. It was the only time they ever came to visit. It was timed perfectly for me to add a fiber to the rope which was growing.

Our friendship was also growing with the Orens. Doris and the children, except Carol, began attending Immanuel. Carol continued to attend Christ Methodist. I stayed home and used the time to plan my coming week’s work, calls and itinerary. After some time in this mode it became more embarrassing and uncomfortable for me to stay home alone. When the rest of the family was leaving for church, Dwight looked me directly in the eyes and said, “Why don’t you go to church with us, Dad?” That did it. I couldn’t stay home anymore. I knew I should go for their sake. I didn’t realize it was for my sake too.



Continue reading part 2 of Norm’s Spiritual Journey

Other Posts by Norm Hammond: