I was brought up to believe that “Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, to shine for him each day” at my Sunday School.
I went religiously , as it were , every week.
But from a very early age I just had nagging doubts.
One day, I decided I would rather play football with my friends than attend.
My problem was I had been given money for the collection and thus felt obliged to go (for this and many other reasons).
However in my childish way I constructed a situation where I “lost” my collection money, by throwing it away as it happens.
Now, without my collection money I felt unable to attend and free to play football.
This was of course only the start of my troubles.
Very quickly my young mind worked out that God would have seen what I had done and likely I would be damned for my transgression.
On top of this I had been brought up to be essentially honest and so confessed when I got home, adding that deep down I really did have big doubts about religion full stop.
This prompted the head of the Sunday School to arrange a visit to my home where he and my parents prayed for my salvation.
I was very troubled and in tears but then I noticed the intense embarrassment on my fathers face.
This was not the embarrassment brought on by me bringing shame onto our family but rather his embarrassment at having to go through with the whole charade.
Despite the best intensions of my mother and the Sunday School I never went back and my father later told me that he me he was pleased that I had made the choice I did.
Nearly 40 years later and I can still recite the first 30 or so books of the Old Testament in order despite forgetting half of what I learned studying for my degree.
Such is the power of what you are told when you are so young.
So I was an early convert but your books have helped me understand more effectively why I think what I think and help put the scared, worried and troubled child in me in the right context.