A significant place on my spiritual journey

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After I graduated from high school, in 1971, I put a back pack on my back and headed for England and Europe. For four months, I had a marvelous time, hitching around, staying in youth hostels, meeting people, seeing sights, having my horizon pushed back and my perspective broadened.

On the way home through London, while visiting Trafalgar Square (see images), at the base of Lord Nelson’s column, right beside Canada House, and sandwiched in between the National Gallery and the Admiralty Arches, someone asked me a question that would change my life. They said, “Would you like to ask Christ into your heart?”

My first reaction was to be defensive. I loved God, believed the Bile and was actively involved in my church. Why would I need to “ask Christ into my heart”? But after only a few seconds of reflection, I knew that, although all the things above were true, I was keeping God at arm’s length. I wanted him to be there for me when I got in trouble, but I didn’t want him cramping my style on Friday night. I wanted him in the trunk as a spare tire, and not in the front in the drivers seat.

So right there on Trafalgar Square, in January of 1972, I bowed my head and opened my heart to God’s sweet grace, asking His forgiveness for my presumption in wanting to sit on the throne of my own life, a spot created and intended for Him.

It was a life changing moment that had many reverberations and consequences, and so it was wonderful to visit Trafalgar Square a few days ago, and to relive this moment that happened here over 40 years ago.

Published by: wismered

an Episcopalian priest living in Houston, Texas. My wife and I have 4 kids thriving in college! Day job is pastoring 850+ students, 18 months to 8th grade at St Francis Episcopal Day School.


11 thoughts on “A significant place on my spiritual journey”

  1. What a wonderful description of what it feels like to be a sideline Christian. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Savory food for thought. I wish a was a mouse in your pocket as you travel on your journey.

  2. Your entry today was so moving. Thank you for sharing your past and present experiences with us.
    We’re walking with you every step of the way!

  3. This must have felt wonderful, Father Wismer! I can picture both you and Jesus smiling at the same time!

  4. Bob, I didn’t realize Trafalgar Square held such significance in the life of one of my most favorite clergy! I too am deeply touched with your recollection “I bowed my head and opened my heart to God’s sweet grace, asking His forgiveness for my presumption in wanting to sit on the throne of my own life, a spot created and intended for Him.” That’s a beautiful, image-filled message for many of us, I feel certain. May God continue to bless your travels!

    1. Thank you Sabrina. This certainly has been a special trip.
      An interesting side note on Trafalgar Square. In 1982, I went back to London, this time to work for someone named John Stott. On my first day of the job, I was at their Wednesday evening prayer gathering, and we were praying for their evangelists who were going to Trafalgar Square that night to tell people about Jesus. I rather impulsively stood up and told them that I had become a Christian right there 10 years previously.
      Wish you could be here. This is a fabulous place. How wonderful to fulfill a lifelong dream!

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