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 “At Last, My Life Has a Purpose.”—IAN KING

  • YEAR BORN: 1963
  • COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: ENGLAND
  • HISTORY: DISILLUSIONED WITH LIFE

MY PAST:

 I was born in England, but about the time I was seven years old, my family moved to Australia. We settled on the Gold Coast, a tourist destination in Queensland, Australia. Although my family was not rich, we always had what we needed.

Despite my comfortable upbringing, I was never really happy. I became quite disillusioned with life. My father was a heavy drinker. I never had much affection for him, mostly because of his drinking and the way he treated my mother. It was only later, when I learned about the things he had experienced as a soldier in Malaya, that I began to understand why he acted the way he did.

I started binge drinking during my high-school years. At age 16, I left school and joined the navy. I began to experiment with drugs and became addicted to tobacco. I also became more and more dependent on alcohol. I went from binge drinking on the weekends to doing so every day.

In my late teens and early 20’s, I started to question God’s existence. ‘If God really exists,’ I reasoned, ‘why does he allow people to suffer and die?’ I even wrote poetry blaming God for all the wickedness in the world.

I left the navy at age 23. After that, I worked at different jobs and even traveled overseas for a year, but nothing relieved my despondency. I had no desire to set goals or achieve anything. Nothing really appealed to me. The prospect of owning a house, having a secure job, and receiving promotions all seemed pointless. My only “comfort” came from drinking alcohol and listening to music.

I can recall the exact moment when I felt the greatest desire to find purpose in life. I was in Poland, visiting the infamous concentration camp at Auschwitz. I had read about the atrocities that took place. But when I actually stood there and saw the enormous size of the camp, my emotions were deeply affected. I could not comprehend how humans could be so cruel to other humans. I remember walking around the camp with tears in my eyes, asking, ‘Why?’

HOW THE BIBLE CHANGED MY LIFE:

 In 1993, after returning from overseas, I began to read the Bible in search of answers. Soon thereafter, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door and invited me to a convention that was being held at a nearby stadium. I decided to go.

I had been to that stadium a few months earlier for a match, but the contrast with this convention was enormous. The Witnesses were polite and well-dressed, and their children were well-behaved. And I was stunned by what I saw at lunchtime. Hundreds of Witnesses ate lunch on the playing field, but when they returned to their seats, I couldn’t see a single piece of rubbish left on the field! Above all, these people seemed to have a feeling of contentment and peace—something I yearned for. I don’t remember any of the talks that were given that day, but the conduct of the Witnesses made a lasting impression.

That evening, I thought of my cousin who read the Bible and studied different religions. Years earlier, he told me that Jesus said you would be able to recognize the true religion by its fruitage. (Matthew 7:15-20) I thought that I should at least look into what makes the Witnesses so different. For the first time in my life, I felt a bit of optimism and hope.

The following week, the two Witnesses who had invited me to the convention returned. They offered me a Bible study, which I accepted. I also began to attend Christian meetings with them.

As I studied the Bible, my view of God changed completely. I learned that he is not the cause of wickedness and suffering and that he himself is hurt when people do bad things. (Genesis 6:6; Psalm 78:40, 41) I became quite determined to try never to cause Jehovah any hurt. I wanted to make his heart rejoice. (Proverbs 27:11) I stopped overdrinking and using tobacco, and I quit engaging in immorality. In March 1994, I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

HOW I HAVE BENEFITED:

 I am genuinely happy and content. I no longer turn to alcohol in an attempt to solve my problems. Instead, I’ve learned to throw my burdens on Jehovah.—Psalm 55:22.

For the past ten years, I have been married to a beautiful Witness named Karen, and I have a wonderful stepdaughter named Nella. The three of us enjoy spending a lot of our time in the Christian ministry, helping others to learn the truth about God. At last, my life has purpose.

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