Pete Williams

Bishop's Stortford, UK

Living life to the full

I remember sitting on the bottom step at home wondering what am I here for? At the age of six life seemed to be so full of opportunities and adventures yet to happen. How was I to choose which ones to take? This question filled me with excitement at the possibilities but also a fear that I might miss out on all there was in life.   

As I look back on my teenage years I see that fear of missing out was the emotion driving my choices. During those years I bounced between skateboarding, girls, music, girls, recreational drugs and girls. But it all began to seem so fleeting, bouncing from one adventure to the next, one relationship to another never really feeling like I belonged or had any more meaning to my life than the moment I was in.  

As I went from one meaningless adventure to the next I ended up on a bench by the river in Bristol city centre. I had never felt so alone in my life. I was surrounded by the Saturday night life; hundreds of people having fun enjoying themselves and I was hundreds of miles away from my friends and family.

I tried to ring my ex-girlfriend but she was with her new boyfriend and couldn’t talk. It was that point I realised that I was completely alone. I’ve never felt so alone in my life before or since. My fear of missing out had left me on a bench by myself whilst hundreds partied around me.

After my moment on the bench I begin to think back in my life to when I was truly happy, to when I was truly content and satisfied. I came to the conclusion that I was when I was part of a radical community who cared for one another and did life together. They ate together, had fun together and did life together this radical community was part of a church who were trying to follow Jesus’ teaching.

So I turned to the bible to see what on earth these teaching were and if there was anything in there that might help me. I still remember to this day sitting in my room reading about Jesus. His life and teaching were like nothing I’d come across before.

His life had the meaning and purpose, combined with the sense of adventure and belonging, I craved for. And his life had one awesome purpose. Jesus said that he had come so that people might have life and have it to the full! Well that did it for me, I was in. Here was someone who promised to give his followers life to the full there’s no room for missing out in that. 

It was in that bedroom that I got on my knees and admitted to God that his way of life was better than mine. I said I want life to the full like Jesus came to give and so I’m in. Whatever this Jesus guy is giving out I want it and I’m willing to follow him wherever it might take me.

Since then I’ve been on more adventures in Bristol, around Europe and even one year in Africa. Yet at the same time I’ve always had that sense of meaning to what I’m doing and belonging to a global family, the Church. Life with Jesus truly is life to the full.      

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