I will begin my story of my religious journey with some of my earliest memories. We did not often go to church when I was a child, and when we did, I did not like it because it was a strange place where I didn't know the people or the routine. I did not like religious art; it seemed strange looking to me. Depictions of Jesus I saw did not make him out to be someone I would look up to or want to be like.
My real interests were in the realm of science and technology. I liked jets, rockets, lasers, and astronauts. I had little plastic dinosaurs, and I learned all of their names. I had a book about science that had diagrams of jet engines and other machines, showing how they work. I had a children's encyclopedia, and I loved to look at the volume on science and nature. One of my favorite cartoons was "Jonny Quest." I wanted to grow up to be either an astronaut or a scientist like Dr. Quest.
I do remember that both of my grandmothers were regular church goers, and that one of them spoke to me once about Jesus. She said that if I believed that he died for my sins on the cross, I would go to heaven. I think up to that time I associated heaven and hell as the places good and bad people went to when they died. I knew that I wasn't always good, so this idea of believing in Jesus seemed like a good thing to do in case all of this was true, and I wasn't good enough to get to heaven otherwise. However, it seemed like some kind of loophole, and I wondered if I was doing the belief thing correctly enough to qualify.