Existing to Know Him

Jim Schneider
by Jim Schneider

I always had some sense of God, of his existence, mainly as a cosmic principle. But I had no idea what it meant to have a personal relationship with Him nor did I exist to know God. The great mathematician Pascal once said, "There's a God-shaped void in the heart of every man." In my early thirties, I tried to fill that void with just about everything else. As despair, depression, and loneliness pulled me into the mire, I clung to material pleasures to which I assumed I was entitled. I had earned them, I thought. I spent and drank and played and escaped in pursuit of happiness. But at the end of each dead end street, I found only emptiness. The void had not been filled.

I had arrived at a crossroads. Then, one morning on television, I saw author Michael Gillian, a former atheist, talking about his book, Can a Smart Person Believe in God? While I never considered myself a genius, I thought I was smart enough to read the book. Gillian's point was that Christianity itself is an education, which requires intense investigation into the claims of Christ. Thus, I was inspired to learn everything I could about God and either prove or disprove His existence. But before reading the Bible, I devoured works by another former atheist Lee Strobel, who wrote A Case for a Creator, A Case for Christ, and A Case for Faith. I learned that to understand the need for a Savior, one must understand creation and the fall of man. Next, I read the Bible. It took me a year. At the end of my investigation, I was left with one question—how could I not believe in God? I experienced what C.S. Lewis meant when he wrote, "God doesn't love us because we're clean. He cleans us up because He loves us."

I made changes, not because of any sense of obligation but simply out of a loving response to God's transformation of my life from the inside out. I began starting my day with prayer, even before the first jolt of caffeine reached my bloodstream. I prayed not for things I wanted but for God to use me. I remember the day, September 28, 2008. I asked God to help me give back in whatever way He saw fit. Then it hit me. An eyewear company that honors Him and whose purpose is to show the love of Christ to the needy and suffering.  Eyes of Faith was born that morning.

My Christian education continues. But my wife Amy and I have a loving, personal relationship with Christ. He is working in our lives, in our home and in our business. He lives, and we live for Him, and to know Him.