an idiot in germany

October 2001

Wednesday, 3rd October 2001.

Here we are, over a year-and-a-half into the adventures of an Idiot in London, and what do we know of the Idiot himself? Next to nothing. Witty observations of the world around me are fine and dandy, but why did I move to the other side of the world?

At the end of 1999 I was working for a web development company in Melbourne, and I was as miserable as all buggery. Not a reflection on my workmates, who in fact were the only reason I had stayed in the job so long.

No, it wasn't just the job, it was my whole life. I'd managed to work myself into a rut in my personal and professional life. The worst moment was when I realised that I was in no way being true to my faith. While I may have professed to be a Christian, there was precious little in my life that would say to someone that I'm a Christian.

Let's fast forward to now. Having sorted out large slabs of my life over the past 18 months, I felt that I was on a threshold. But of what?

Before I left England in September, I had had a premonition of sorts, that something would happen to me while I was in Germany. I didn't know what, or where, or when. But yesterday, as I walked from the train station to the town centre, I knew that this was the place.

Erfurt is known for its churches, and I visited a few this morning as I explored the city. I went into the Predigerkirche, and I was enthralled. There was something about the church, I couldn't say exactly what. I sat down in one of the pews and started to pray, which is what I did at every church I visited. But this time, instead of just offering up a brief prayer before heading off to the next point of interest, I started getting into it.

I was praying the same prayer that I've prayed many a time. I was asking God what He wanted me to do with my life. But this time I was a little more plaintive that usual, and I said "Look at me, I'm 27 and I'm wandering aimlessly around Europe. I don't have a job, I don't have a clue, I haven't accomplished anything. What do you want me to do? I need you to reveal your will to me!"

That got an immediate response. "You need to make a covenant with me."

"What kind of covenant?" I replied.

The response came back straight away: "I want you to get baptised."

Now God has never spoken to me before, however there was no doubt who was speaking to me now.

It's a funny old world, isn't it? In the morning I'm talking with God, and by the evening I'm in Hamburg, with a bunch of UberTeenagers giving me the irrits!

Postscript: I was baptised when I returned to London.