It is hard to believe that 50 years ago this week I was at Woodstock.

As August 1969 rolled around, some of my friends told me about a music festival that was coming to the Catskills in a couple of weeks. One of my fellow dining room workers at the hotel that I was working at during the summer, suggested that since I had already earned enough money to pay for my next school year,  we should quit our jobs and rent a house near the festival grounds in White Lake, NY. Even though I had no idea what Woodstock was, I thought it sounded like a good idea. The two of us along with two other friends, rented a house for the month less than one mile from Max Yasgur's farm and the Woodstock Music Festival.

I had no idea what was about to take place all around me. For the next two weeks, prior to the festival, I would drop acid, smoke hashish, and wander up to the site of Woodstock for the day. I interacted with the workers who were feverishly building the stage. I hung out with the people from the farm who were working on the infrastructure for the festival.  

Then on Thursday, August 14, 1969, the people started coming. And coming. And coming. I could not believe my eyes as over 400,000 young people poured into town. Most of them had to trek by our rented house as they headed for the festival and before long our rental was packed with all sorts of people that we had invited in.

I spent the entire weekend tripped out and stoned. I specifically remember seeing Janis Joplin, Santana, Jimmy Hendricks, Richie Havens and a few others. But most of the weekend was lost in a blur of drugs and trips. My experience at Woodstock cemented my commitment to go back to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my senior year as an outspoken promoter of psychedelic drug use. At this point, I had lost all interest in going to class or becoming a research chemist. In fact, I lost interest in just about everything except discovering the spiritual answers to life: Why I was here on earth? What was my purpose in life? What was going to happen to me after I died? These thoughts began to dominate my life and I believed that I would be able to discover the answers through my drug use.

It is true that LSD had altered my outlook on a lot of things, but most notably myself. I had been forced to confront the reality of what I really was on the inside. I had come to understand that I was not the wonderful and nice person I had believed myself to be. I began to realize that I was selfish, immoral and completely without conscience. I realized I was lost.

I thought I could “fix” myself by delving into eastern religions, becoming an avid reader of Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Hinduism. I even went to Washington, DC and hooked up with a Hare Krishna branch there. But even though I threw myself into each of these religions with abandon, every one of them left me feeling empty and with unanswered questions.

It was then that I met a preacher on the streets of Chapel Hill, proclaiming that Jesus was the only way. Being Jewish, this was the last thing I would ever consider!  (you can listen to my entire testimony here). But through God’s grace and transforming power, I turned my life over to Jesus Christ, and I have never been the same.

If you have never accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, God’s Word says that today is the day of salvation. Don’t waste your time like I did on dead ends. Jesus is knocking at the door waiting for you to come to Him. All you need to do is answer.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." Revelation 3:20