Ever since grade school I knew what I wanted - to become an architect! But I didn't want to go through the university, because it was a known fact that architect who only had theoretical learning were pretty clueless about engineering and practical design. So I first wanted to have a hands-on skill, and since my mom's cousin was married to a carpentry master I signed up for an apprenticeship.
I was very fortunate that my master was old school. His dad had been a wind-mill builder, you know those old contraptions with wooden gears, rotating tower and big wooden wings. That was carpentry science of the higher order, and his son took pride in teaching good old fashion craftsmanship.
So after about three years I earned my diploma (with honours) and went from there to the building technical high school and after that to the architect department at "the Royal Academy of the Beautiful Arts" in Copenhagen. - On my way to achieving my ambition.
Together with some fellow architect students we moved into Christiania, the hippie free-town close to the center of Copenhagen and became some of the founding fathers of that alternative, which by the way still exist to this day.
That was a pretty chaotic period of my life. When at the architect school I was engaged in academic discussions with sociologists, city planners and left-wing radicals. I also worked as a substitute teacher at my old grade school, so in the morning I would call in to hear if any teacher were absent, if so I would race across Copenhagen on my motorcycle to make it in time to fill in for him or her, and then I would have to take on the role as a teacher.
After school I would get back to the hippie life in Christiania where all kinds of idealists and ideologies were floating around. I especially remember the common meetings where colorful characters would discuss all kinds of theories about what our alternative to the dog-eat-dog system outside the fence ought to look like.
The first winter was tough - finding ways to heat the old buildings, sanitation, water, electricity coming and going due to overload by electrical heaters. A lot of challenges!
When Spring came more and more free-wheeling and free-loading dope heads and freaks started to move in and things became increasingly akin to a continual Woodstock festival.
It was there in the Spring of 1972 everything changed.
I am probably the least spiritual person on this side of the North Pole, but the night it happened was an other-worldly experience! I found myself catapulted into another reality, call it a parallel world, or a spiritual dimension. I saw that everything is energy, everything is alive so to speak, everything pulsated and everything emanated an aura - the spirit world was real.
It totally blew me away and shattered all my reference points. My mom was a believer, and I had been confirmed in church, but I no longer any faith in God or anything spiritual. At that point in time I only believed in what I could see, touch and measure. So you can imagine my amazement at being jolted into this other-worldly experience.
Tons of questions were swirling around in my head and I finally blurted out, "so what's the answer?" At that precise moment a friend stepped into the room, he used to live in the house I was sitting in, but had joined a Jesus People group in Christiania, so I knew what he represented.
There was an aura of love emanating from him and it was like he brought light into the room when he entered - a voice then told me, "that's the answer!" Following right in the heels of that message was another voice in my mind saying, "watch out, you don't know what you are getting into. If you listen to that and follow that, you will loose control of your life, you will not become an architect, and you will not know what direction your life will take!"
I didn't care... the love, peace, purity and tranquility that radiated from that follower of Jesus was what I wanted, so I jumped up, darted out of the room and down the stairs and into the night. When outside I cried, "so Jesus, You are real!" - when I said those words it was as if the whole World exploded into a thousand pieces, and when all the pieces came back down it was as if everything fitted perfectly in place, I don't know how else to describe it. You might call it a cosmic moment!
I truly believe I was filled with the Holy Spirit right then and there. When the world exploded and came back down everything became crystal clear, "this is where you come from and this is where you are going." But the greatest impression was love, the feeling of being loved, being forgiven - whatever that means - but I could literally feel it!
Later on I realized that the second voice was from an opposing spiritual entity, who was trying to keep me from yielding to the Lord.
Today I am so so happy I said yes to Jesus, He has taken me on a World tour and given meaning to my life way beyond what I could have ever achieved if I had chosen my own way and plan. - Thank you Lord!
PS: for a more on detailed description of what it means to be "born of the spirit" read here.