There Are Times When You See the Northern Lights and It Isn’t the Coming of the Lord

The first time I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour was in the summer of 1985.

I was at Camp Chestermere, in southern Alberta. One night, while we warmed our feet by the fire and ate our s’mores, Fletch, the Head Counsellor and my cabin warden, painted an Old Testament picture of human confusion, hell fire and humanity’s only true chance for redemption. He seemed to command the fire to intensify as he reported that Jesus would descend in glory from the sky in a spectacular light show, judge us, and burn the guilty (of whom I would be one unless I signed up with the righteous).

As I was quite focused on my snack, I didn’t think much of his story nor his technique — it all seemed rather stage-y and wide-eyed, if you know what I mean. My Road to Damascus moment was when Aurora Borealis exploded through the dark on our late-night walk back to the cabin. Having never seen the Northern Lights, I mistook this rare natural phenomena for the Rapture. My terror manifested as a pragmatic decision to cover my ass and I “asked Jesus into my heart” with a mix of fervour and adrenaline while cowering under my sleeping bag on my wooden bunk bed.

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