“Nanda, let’s go, it will be fun!”
“Renata, I am not up to it, maybe some other time…” was my initial response, not at all assertive in an effort to please her and ease myself out of the situation.
“It’s going to be an amazing night; you’ve always loved this place. We are going to dance the night away!” She insisted. She couldn’t believe that after all this time apart I was not going to go out with her on a Saturday night.
“Listen, I am sorry but I’m not going.”
“Girl, I can’t believe what I’m hearing! Look, I wanted to surprise you but I guess I’m going to have to tell you… Nanda, everyone is gonna be there! I contacted all of our friends; they all miss you like crazy! You have to go!”
“I can’t believe it! Why did you do that?” I asked, hoping it was a joke.
“Nanda we all miss you, it was supposed to be a surprise!”
At that moment I began to despair. "My Lord! What should I do?! If I join my friends for a night out on the town, I will be going against my recently discovered faith! However, if I don’t go, I can kiss goodbye to all of my friends whom I haven’t seen in such a long time. Not to mention that Renata will most certainly hate me… and I really wanted to talk about Jesus to her, show her how different I am now…"
“Ah, you can go…there’s no problem at all! All you have to do is keep to yourself… after all you also miss them. It’s going to be fun and best of all: you won’t disappoint your friends. Do you really think God is going to mind? Where’s the harm in reuniting with some old friends?” It was a voice speaking within me so loudly that it seemed that even Renata could hear it…
“No, no and no!” I answered with revolt, not knowing if I was talking to Renata or the voice in my head!
“Renata, forgive me but it’s decided. Call them and tell them it’s canceled because I am not going!” Now there was definitely firmness in my voice.
“I know where this is all coming from; it’s that church that brainwashed you! I will never go to that place!” She turned around and left….
Renata was my best friend when I left Brazil in 1995 to live in the United States, where I began to attend the Universal Church and where I converted. The day of this episode was one of the last times I saw her… I was still in the process of converting and had gone to Brazil to visit my parents. It was one of the most difficult moments I had to face, it wasn’t the first or the last and it definitely wasn’t easy.
After she left I felt a tremendous peace. I didn’t feel sad about disappointing my friends. I knew I had made the right choice, but man, only I know how close I was to giving in. That loud “voice” inside my head almost convinced me.
The other day I was watching a movie in which a young guy was being so tempted by pornography on his computer, that he too made a choice… he broke the entire computer into pieces…
There are moments in life in which you must make a drastic move! It doesn’t help to try to go around the situation!
Either you are, or you aren’t!
It is, or it isn’t!
You want it or you don’t!
You go or you stay!
It’s either light or darkness!
There’s no way around it; There’s no middle ground!
Think about this and if you find yourself being tempted... be drastic!