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Randy Hales

Due to our poverty and my insecurities, I thought things would bring me joy.
Because of a lack of joy in my heart, I did not always have a smile on my face. Being brought up in a broken home can introduce one to sadness and struggles that can produce insecurity and a lack of joy. Due to the broken home, we moved to a new town where neighborhood bullies sought out and antagonized the helpless new comers. Life was not easy as a child or as a young person. Due to our poverty and my insecurities, I thought things would bring me joy. Cars, motorcycles, a girlfriend surely would make me happy. They didn’t. I worked and made money to buy things but I was still unhappy. The more I worked, the more I earned. The more I earned, the more I bought, but my life felt worthless, empty, and of no value.
Then I found my value in Jesus.
A co-worker and friend had an encounter with Jesus that changed his life. Even though we had similar backgrounds, he had become something different. His life ultimately led me into my own personal encounter with Jesus Christ. I was changed.
I still like motorcycles -- they still bring a smile on the outside -- but Jesus brought a smile within my heart. Today, some see me and say I haven’t changed a lot. I can be seen riding my bike down the road with my girl, my wife of 37 plus years, on the back. The real difference is not what you see on the outside, but what is unseen, down deep in my life. I found real joy, real peace, and the smile on my face is now a reflection of the smile in my heart. That change in attitude, life, and behavior occurred because of Jesus. I will always appreciate motorcycles and the feel of my wife’s arms around me as I ride, but what I value most is Jesus in my heart. That relationship with Jesus brought my life into focus and brought real joy to the very depths of my being.