Although I have always held a strong belief in God, I had no interest in the Bible or Christianity until my daughter Rachel was born profoundly deaf.
One day I felt compelled to go into the Chapel at the Children's Hospital to pray for her. Later, my wife's cousin took us to her local church where pastors again prayed for Rachel. Follow up tests showed there was a remarkable improvement in her hearing. Now she has enough hearing to be able to learn to speak.
While we were in Hong Kong in 1993, my wife started to focus on the Bible.
Because of my racing commitments I had many distractions and our marriage began to fall apart. While in Hong Kong I received a 9 months disqualification. The appeal was dismissed.
On our return to Sydney, we decided to go back to the church we had visited before. While attending one of the services, I made a commitment of my life to Jesus Christ, inviting Him to take over my life. I now see that I needed that 9 months disqualification to get stability and balance in my life.
When I first became a Christian I struggled with understanding the spiritual side of life. To help me get a clearer understanding of Christianity, I studied the Gospels (the first 4 books of the New Testament).
Matthew 7:24: "anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on a rock." Was something God really used to show me that I needed to build my life on a firm foundation. As I continued to read the Bible, my priorities began to change. It took some time to rebuild our marriage and to reassess priorities.
July 1997 was a critical turning point. While on a family holiday in America I was called by God to study for the Christian ministry. I decided to give up my career in racing. On returning to Sydney, I made the official announcement in August 1997 and retired from racing on the 26th of December 1997.
I have experienced everything that any jockey would want to experience, but from the day I gave my heart to the Lord, my greatest desire is to serve Him and please Him in everything I do. God has shown me that I needed to get my priorities right. By giving up my racing career I believe that I can serve Him more effectively than I could by staying in racing.
God knows how much I love racing but life can be consuming. Now I have a relationship with Jesus. Nothing could be more precious or important.
I study the Bible as much as I can. To me the Bible is like a street directory. While I continue to follow God's Word, I know I will never lose my way. I have discovered that life isn't so much about character and building that character on a firm foundation the Word of God.
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