My name is Sandeep, I was born into Sikhism, a North Indian religion, the 7th largest in the world. Ironically I often feel when the Lord Jesus says “seek and you will find” that he was having a joke with me. As a Sikh I was searching for God . When I was a young boy growing up I was very devote, often I would walk bare foot to the Sikh temple, 10 kms from where I lived to pray to an unknown god. I would ask my brothers who God was, and the response was always the same – “God is one”. I would reply, I know God is one but who is he? Nobody could tell me. The 10 gurus of the Sikh religion, who are often revered and even prayed to, their writings would also not tell me who God was. I was curious, I wanted to know and could not understand why no one could tell me. Everyone was simply following a religion of traditions and culture, but not having a relationship with God.
In my early teens I started to look at Hinduism. As an Indian, you are surrounded by Hindus, you know all of the stories of the” multitude of gods”. I visited Hindu sacred sites and watched people worshipping everything from mice drinking milk in their thousands (within Hindu temples) with people actually believing this was the spirit of god. I could see through both the hypocrisy and lies of it all. The stories of Hinduism seemed fanciful and mythical. Not based on any archaeological facts or a geographical location, the realm of the Hindu gods were always separate to our physical existence. I became disillusioned with all of it. By 17 i turned to the secular world. I began a degree in pharmacology at university. This quickly became an excuse to party and get drunk. My nick name was drum because I could hold as much alcohol as a drum. At university i was a political anarchist and enjoyed causing trouble on campus.
I was eventually kicked out of university for poor academic performance. I was a failure and drank more to drown my sorrows. In 2008 i was involved in an serious car accident, a head on collision with a truck. I sat in the crumpled remains of the car, seeing blood all around me, I was sure I was about to die. At that point gripped by fear, I called out to an unknown god, I remember my words; “whatever god is real – save me!”. Immediately the car door was ripped open, two men were clawing their way into the wreckage and pulled me from the car. As they did so, I looked over to their own car and clearly remember a cross hanging from the mirror – the two men were Christians. I was saved from death but still I could not see. I was still blinded to the reality of who God was.
My parents had almost given up on me. I had ashamed the family with my failures and drinking. My father gave me a second chance, he offered to send me to Australia to study there . I accepted the offer and at the time thought; I will really be able to party with the white people at their fancy university like the American movies. Arriving in Australia, my first day in the city, some Christians handed me a Christian bible in the middle of the street. I kept it but didn’t read it, looking back I am amazed I didn’t throw it way.
I then had to find and join a university. There were five to choose from. For some reason even though a Sikh by religion, I felt drawn to the only Christian university of the five. On entering Notre Dame, I was impressed with their professionalism. I chose nursing because I wanted to help other people, Notre Dame’s nursing curriculum impressed me. You can also imagine my surprise at seeing the cross, the same cross present when pulled from the car wreckage, was hanging in every classroom and displayed throughout the university. It was still not enough though to open my eyes.
I made some student friends and began drinking again. It seemed history was about to repeat and I was incapable of stopping it. My life was a train crash waiting to happen.
During my first nursing lab, I was befriended by a Christian man. He was little bit older than me and was devote and yet he spoke of his God, Jesus Christ, as if he knew him. As if he had a personal relationship with his God. He would pray before exams and he included me in the prayer, I definitely felt anxiety disappear each time and amazingly passed every single exam, whilst so many people failed. I could literally see this Christian’s prayers being answered. I later discovered this Christian was a Pastor . Slowly I started to see Jesus was real. Not a myth nor a religion, but a real living God you could interact with.
I remember sitting in the library thinking about this God . Questioning my own beliefs. I was struggling with an assignment, I called out to Jesus; if you are real, help me with this assignment. Again immediately I felt a hand on my shoulder and a staff member asked “can i help you?” I was shocked, it was instant answer to prayer. This was God, the God who died for my sin on a cross, the God who saved me from that car accident, He was reaching out to me and I could finally see it! The Pastor gave me another bible, this was my second, yet I still did not read.
My first nursing practical was in an Aged Care Centre. The Chaplain of the centre gave me my third bible! He told me God has chosen you and is reaching out to you. I was amazed. I started to read. Within three months, after understand what Jesus has done for me, I gave him my life in a flood of tears.
Now two short years later, I am in my final year of nursing. I passed every single test and exam achieving credits and distinctions (even though English is my second language). I no longer drink or smoke and I am currently completing a course as a Street Chaplain, a ministry which sends people out on the street at night with a first aid kit to “nurse” people in need and show the love of Christ.
Jesus says – seek and you will find, knock and the door will open, ask and you will receive. In seeking God, it was Jesus who opened the door in that car crash and it is Jesus who i asked to save me from my own sinful nature. I know God is one and that same God revealed himself to us in his son- Jesus Christ . I finally know who God is.
My search, my ‘seeking’ – is over.