Ole-Petter grew up in a regular Norwegian home without any particular religious ties. Various “coincidences” resulted in him accepting Jesus as his Saviour at 21 years of age. Here he writes about one of the first revelations he received in the church.
Shortly after I got converted, a friend read me a Bible verse that made a deep impression on me. It was because the verse, in an amazing way, put words to the feelings I had had all the years I was unconverted – and that I recently had deliberately put behind me.
I was grasping for the wind
He read from the first chapter in Ecclesiastes, about how all things are full of labour, and that everything is just vanity and grasping for the wind. That was it! This was exactly what I had felt so many times, whether I had worked hard to save up for a better car, or said some biting, sarcastic words to a mate when talking with a group of friends. Just to be viewed as tough, cool and funny, and to have the last word, even at the expense of others.
Or when I had expressed interest in getting to know another girl, even though I already had a girlfriend. Or when I turned around while driving to look at a party-clad girl walking down the street, and nearly crashed into the car in front that had just slowed down. A collision would have been so incredibly futile. Just as futile as it is to grasp at the wind.
There will always be fresh and malicious slander or rumours I want to hear more about. To try to satisfy this destructive “want” is an all-encompassing and life-long project that can never succeed! If it could, there would be many incredibly happy people that are rich, famous and beautiful.
What was it in me that had striven so untiringly – that had driven me on earlier in life? When all is said and done, it must have been a destructive side of myself, that the Bible calls the flesh. And it is written that the flesh is cursed. Isn’t part of the curse that the flesh is never satisfied? The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing, it says in Ecclesiastes. There will always be a newer, cooler and faster car for me to wish for. There will always be prettier women.
I realised why I had been tormented
I was astounded that this truth came to me so suddenly! I realised immediately why I had been tormented in my thoughts, and why I had started to seek God. Everything had just been emptiness. I had been living like a vague, weightless object out in space, without a hope of steering my own course. That is what my life had been like: driven by desires for wealth and popularity, guided by thoughts of revenge and by my lusts – this is how I had been living for years.
Worst of all was the thought of all the time I had lost. God’s grace is abundant, but not so abundant that I can live life over again. “Time is your life!” was something I thought about. That made me so happy that I had been freed from the futility of grasping for the wind!