Bobby Jindal Story

Bobby Jindal

My Journey to Christianity

My journey from Hinduism to Christianity was a long, painful journey. I wish I could tell you I had a sudden epiphany but for some people it’s just; there was no moment on the road to Damascus where it was that easy for me. It literally took seven years. Seven long years. And along the way people gave up. I’ve got a whole chapter in the book, Leadership in Crisis, about my faith journey.

It started when I was a child. I was a student and my best friend came up to me and gave me my very first copy of the Bible, and it was a Christmas gift. I’ve got to tell you, I was the most disappointed boy that Christmas. I didn’t want the Bible. It wasn’t what I was hoping to get as my Christmas gift, and I didn’t actually read the Bible until years later when my grandfather passed away. He was still living in India. He was my favorite adult in the whole world. He was a great grandfather. He would go buy me ice cream when my mom wouldn’t want me to eat sweets. He carried me on his shoulders. He spent all kinds of time with me. He was living in India at the time of his death and it hit me hard. It was the first time I had ever lost somebody I was close to, and he died of a stroke. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to him and when you lose somebody like that for the first time you always try to remember, “What was the last thing I said to him?” You always get so mad at the time you wasted and as close as we were I couldn’t remember if I actually told him I loved him. And I remember wondering if I’ll ever get to see him again to tell him that. It was the first time I had really thought about what happens after you die. I wondered will I have a chance to see him, does heaven really exist and if heaven exists, how do you get into heaven?  Is it one of those things where you have to be good to everybody? Do you earn your way to heaven? Do you have to be rich to get into heaven? Is it a million dollars? I couldn’t figure it out. I read the Bible from cover to cover. I wish I could tell you I had a sudden epiphany, but I really didn’t understand everything I was reading.  God used that experience to plant a seed.  There were series of events in my life, but it really cumulated. One night I was in a small little non-denominational church in Baton Rouge and they were doing a musical. My best friend who had given me the Bible asked me to attend. In the middle of the music service, they stopped the music. They had a short black and white film in the intermission. Nothing fancy about this movie, no famous actors, the camera was shaking, nothing exciting about the movie but for some reason, God chose that moment to hit me harder than I’ve ever been hit before. I had spent years reading the Bible, studying, praying, going to churches, talking to pastors, reading all kinds of books, and for some reason in that moment when I was watching the actor play Jesus being crucified on the cross, I was hit harder than I’ve ever been hit before. It just hit me that the Son of God was dying because of me. He’s up there on that cross, I don’t mean he’s dying for billions of people, or all of humanity; it was personal, it was he was dying for Bobby Jindal, my sins and what I have failed to do. How arrogant for me to do anything but get on my knees and worship Him. The pastor came out and said, “If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, we want to get to know you better.” I filled out one of those cards at Church. My friend started reading the Bible together. The Words jumped off the page. The Words were written just for me. Jesus was talking to me from 2,000 years ago, especially when we were reading the New Testament, the Gospels, and the parables. Our world tells us one of two things. Our world either tells us, “You haven’t killed anybody so why do you feel so guilty?” but I knew in my heart, but I knew that wasn’t good enough. Or our world tells us, “Look, if you screwed up, try harder next week. Get a little more education, you’ll do better.” I don’t know about you, but I haven’t met any perfect people and so here was the gospel, here was the Bible, something so radically different than anything else. Here’s God saying, “I know your heart, I know you’re not perfect, and I love you anyway and because of what my Son has done for you on the cross, you too can have the gift of eternal life.” Now I’ve been blessed. I’m married to a wonderful woman of Indian descent. We have three children and I’ve been blessed in my life. But the single most important moment of my life happened right then and there. I was watching the movie and accepting Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and the reality is this: people have asked me so many times, “Why this movie, why that moment?” I can’t tell you why. I know exactly when it happened, but I can’t tell you why God chose that moment. It literally has been the most important event in my life.