Rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering — name the adventure, I was up for it. Competition ran in my blood. In my teens I formed a print company that I was very proud of. Was I self-centered? Truthfully? Yeah.

As a businessman, I thought I had everything going for me. I would even tell people I was a Christian, because it sounded good. But I knew it was only a name because I certainly didn’t feel Christian. My wife and I encouraged our children to explore all different kinds of religions and believe whatever they wanted.

Turning Away

When I was kid I got really turned off from Christianity, after my aunt committed suicide. My aunt was highly active and involved at the church in the UK where I grew up, although not by her own choice. She was forced to live a strict and legalistic lifestyle, a false spirituality of rules and regulations. Whenever she came over, she’d want to do “normal” things, like watch football games with our family. She tried to avoid the fact that she was a church worker. I knew she was never happy with her life because she was pressured to be something she was not. When she took her own life, I got mad at the church and turned away from it.

To make matters worse, when I took a walk on the streets of the city one day, there was a man on the street that needed help. A leader of the church asked him if he was religious and when he told him he wasn’t, the church leader left him. This incident, along with my aunt’s death, made me wonder about God and if there was a loving God, especially if his people were so unloving, not caring about people who needed help and pressuring a woman to live a life she did not want to live.

The Race of My Life

Through my fellow colleagues, I got invited to a business training convention by Christians. At first I thought, there’s that God stuff again and didn’t want to go. But something about them made me want to go. I wanted to know what they knew about business and life that I didn’t. I attended the business convention and learned about how faith is such a huge part of business. Without faith, trust in an everlasting God and not in money, a business will find itself lost in the end. I realized then and there that I needed Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead in order that I can have a relationship with God. This relationship is the exact fulfillment I was looking for. It filled the void I felt in my heart. Jesus isn’t just some practical or theoretical thing in business, but the Lord of my business and my life.

And he’s Lord of my adventures. Today, rally racing is one of my passions, but it’s not something I’m completely consumed by like I was with my other competitive sports or business. At the end of the day, I am not a rally racer, but a father, husband and child of God. I have a purpose in my life now, and it isn’t how much money my business can make, how many sports trophies I can win or how much my kids or wife love me. My purpose is to follow God and to know Jesus Christ better as I grow in my relationship with him. This is the true race of my life.

Living With Purpose

If you’ve ever felt you had everything figured out but still feel lost, you are not alone. Everyone longs for a purpose. Nobody wants to live a life that is meaningless. God offers you a life with purpose through Jesus Christ, his son, whom he gave up on the cross to die for our sins. He longs to have a relationship with you and give you the life you’ve longed for — life lived to its fullest.
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Copyright © 2005 Used with permission.

Mark Jennings-Bates is the driver of Prescribed Burn Rally Team, Okanagan’s only Rally Team competing in an open class Mitsubishi Eclipse in the Western Canadian Rally Championship. He currently resides in British Columbia with his wife and children.

L. Wang recently graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.A. in English and is an aspiring journalist who hopes to go overseas to report international news one day. As a big fan of hockey, sleep and rare steak, this writer thinks there’s no such thing as too much of the three

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