Ben loved his dream job but the internal guilt was too much
As a kid Ben McEachen dreamed of being a movie critic but the dream ultimately faded as he became desensitised to horrifying images.
"For most of my working life, I was a full-time film reviewer," says Ben. "Yes, I lived the dream."
However, he adds, "I've seen and heard some things I wouldn't wish upon anyone."
Working for a highly distributed newspaper and movie magazine, he recalls, "some days, I'd see three or four films in a cinema or private screening and I was paid to write about what I thought about what I watched."
In his mind, he tried to persuade himself, "movies do not affect me".
"That was a lie," he recalls knowing inwardly in his conscience.
"I became desensitised to the extreme and obscene areas of entertainment."
"And worse, I paid no mind to what God might think about what I watched and how I then wrote about them."
Ben had grown up hearing about the God of the Bible in church and knew in his moral conscience that he was living outside of His loving commands for mankind.
"I liked the love and forgiveness and 'nice' things of Christianity," he shares.
"I said I was a Christian and I definitely believed in God, Jesus, the Bible and that kind of stuff. Well, I believed in them as much as I wanted to."
To him the Bible was "something I could pick and choose from, so I still could do what I wanted to do."
"I'd often have feelings of guilt or hypocrisy about the way I lived. While claiming to love God, I would do or say things He called His people to forsake. From drinking far too much alcohol to having sex before marriage, I did what I wanted."
In the end, Ben says he turned away from the darkness of his life and chose "the overpowering light of Jesus".
In 2009 he surrendered control of his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and he says he was "spiritually reborn".
"As amazing as it is to live the dream, there is a reality that is vastly more meaningful, significant and eternal.
"That reality is Jesus' offer to us of salvation from the terrible consequences of our sins and how it impacts every area of our lives. Me. You. Everyone."
He steered clear of his dream job and went to Bible college instead, he explains, "To devote more of myself to Jesus, rather than allow another passion to take His rightful place."
Gradually, his understanding of Jesus changed.
"If Jesus is my Saviour, He also must be the boss of my life," Ben realised.
"[Jesus is] the loving ruler of all I do and think and say. Because you can't fully believe in and trust Jesus with your life, unless you give all of it over to Him."
Ben admits that giving Jesus full control is not easy.
"It's an ongoing process of handing over areas of my imperfect life that I would prefer to cling to. Accepting Jesus as Saviour and Lord of your life brings such fullness and meaning that everything else cannot compare. Even your dream job."•