My name is Rahil Patel and I grew up in London with Hindu parents so that automatically makes me a Hindu. At the age of 19, I became so desperate to search for God so I flew to India and trained to become a Hindu priest. I remember while praying at the temple, this silent voice whispered in my ear and asked me if I made the right choice.
Then I realized that I have been looking up to the guru as God because it was part of Hinduism. The more I studied the more I felt restless and the more questions I had. I initially thought that if I’m close to the guru I can easily share what was in my heart. But I would be dismissed whenever I asked tough questions about Hinduism. I was told to accept what was being taught and that’s when I realized that I was being brainwashed.
As a Swami priest, I went to Rome 19 times because I love the atmosphere of churches. I used to visit the Sistine Chapel with my orange robes and shaven head. I remember looking up at the paintings of Jesus and John the Baptist and felt something beyond the physical that was there. There was something really resonating in my heart.
Then one day as I was buying books at a bookshop near the temple I saw a children’s Bible. I opened it and started reading it and felt a connection so easily and so quickly. But then I had to turn away from it because I felt that I was betraying my guru.
But at one point I cried out to God to help me out of my situation. I asked His help to rid the fear that kept me from going to Him. Then God answered my prayers during a meeting with my guru when he challenged me about my belief in God, and I mustered the courage and told him that I don’t want to be a Swami anymore. He said fine and that was it.
My departure from Hinduism put a stop in my secret relationship with Jesus. I stopped believing in religion altogether until three weeks after when I saw this church while walking to South Kensington Station. As soon as I walked through its doors I felt the presence of God and felt this incredible peace. Then the silent whisper came again and told me that I was home.
At that moment, I prayed for repentance and surrendered my life to Jesus. It gave me deep comfort and made me realize that God has been there all throughout my life. He has been guiding me even though I was seeking out another religion.