PAUSE FOR THOUGHT by Ray Dadswell: Once and for all

A Blue Danube cruise or a pilgrimage to Rome; taking part in a large-scale community opera, celebrating the life and achievements of an Olympic cyclist; carrying a football trophy out on to the pitch; enjoying a riverside seat at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race; using a virtual chalkboard; going to university ‘down-under’ ..

So, what do these advertisements and new s stories have in common? They all have the description of ‘a once-in-a-lifetime experience’.

Over the past weeks and months this phrase has been thrown at us on numerous occasions, guaranteed to excite and encourage us to be in involved in some way.

I have been asking myself – and other people – about once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and together we can think of quite a lot of events which would fit into this category.

Winning a major prize on the lottery might be at the top of some lists, or finding the perfect marriage partner, or falling into the right job ...

Depending on current circumstances, the hopes and dreams are endless.

As you have come to expect, reading this column on a regular basis, there is a spin!

For me, and for many thousands of church-attenders in the Eastbourne area, the once-in-a-lifetime experience has been recognising Jesus as God’s provision for our eternal salvation. I personally made a commitment to follow him as a teenager, a fascinating journey which has taken me to the other side of the world to live and work, giving me opportunities to share his grace with anyone who would listen. Ups and downs there have been, of course, but the assurance of of a secure relationship with him has made it all worthwhile.

The Bible says ‘Jesus appeared at the end of the age to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself’ (Hebrews 9, 26). What took place that first Easter is sufficient for anyone to enjoy that same once-in-a-lifetime experience today.

If you would like to know how this event has touched the lives of others, one in particular, then please contact me for a free copy of the book ‘Complete Surrender’, the biography of Olympic champion Eric Liddell. Just forward details – name and address for delivery – to