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Around The Sun: Reading The Bible

Steve Harrison begins to read the Bible and is soon faced with a huge conflict between his work and his growing belief.

The grass withers, the flowers fade but the word of our God stands forever Isaiah.

Id traveled far and wide, though I didn't remember much of it. Too drunk or stoned. Id had a lot of close calls with death - sharks, Hells Angels, drugs, girls with knives.

I thought of myself as being spiritual. I had studied astrology, astronomy, read the Tibetan book of the dead, Mayan history and the Koran. Id also stuck my fingers into Black magic, the occult, numerology and ouiji boards. Yet there was a void within me. What I had read did not seem to add up.

When I worked in the Middle East I was troubled that people used the name of Jesus Christ when they cursed. In Asia people knew the stories of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. Jesus had made a huge impact on the world. I decided to try and find out what he had been teaching.

While in Spain, some eight years before this, I had been given a Bible and told that I was looking for Jesus. I had not read it, but I had always carried it with me, packed at the bottom of my rucksack. Now I decided not only to read it, but to try and understand it.

At this time I also concluded that my serious mistakes were usually made when I was drunk, so I decided to try and stop drinking alcohol. I also hoped to meet an innocent girl, and turn away from sexual flippancy.

With these resolutions made, I picked up the Bible and started to read Matthew's gospel. I was fascinated by Jesus, enthralled by his life and his message. Then I read Mark, caught up by his exuberance. By the time I got to Luke and John I was beginning to think I was reading the same thing over and over again. The stories were repeated and repeated.

After the four gospels I read other books in the Bible - Acts, Romans and Corinthians... I began to realise that though the events were the same, I was reading accounts by different people.

I was falling in love with Christ. I admired him and his ways. I talked about him to everyone I met. He filled my waking thoughts. I wanted to understand, to find out more about him.

I was working at the time in North Sydney. My lunchtimes were spent talking about Christ to anyone who would listen to me. I began preaching on street corners. The fact that I was doing this horrified me, yet I could not stop doing so.

Now I faced a huge dilema. I was working as an art director with one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, McCann Erickson. I was helping to promote the sales of cigarettes and liquor.

And I was preaching about Christ to everyone within earshot.


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