Tim Saiet

Life is pretty magic, isn’t it? Mind you, there were parts of my childhood that weren’t too easy. My parents got divorced and I lived as a child in a single-parent family – we had little or no money and life was hard. This was the seventies and there were also struggles with being bullied at school, but I avoided conflict as much as I could. I remember being incredibly bored and having a real sense that I wanted to get away and explore the world as soon as possible. Let’s admit it – most boys spend their school days dreaming about things like that, don’t they?

Life was Magic

I was pretty fortunate really and it looked as if I would be able to live the dream – I joined the Royal Marine Commando’s in 1982, when I was just seventeen. I was fairly sure that this wouldn’t be boring! I became an unarmed combat instructor and also a mountain and Arctic specialist. It was a tough life but I learned how to be really self-sufficient. I travelled a lot and worked with submarines and ships – exciting stuff! I felt that I belonged and so I hardly ever looked back. I really enjoyed the comradeship with the other men but even though I was happy I seemed to be missing a trick somehow but I didn’t know what it was.

I served with the Marines in Northern Ireland during the troubles and I must say I felt really sad at all the bitterness and hatred I could see around me. Not only that, I was shot at and experienced nail bombs and petrol bombs! I came back from Northern Ireland a rather different person and with a deeper sense that I needed to search for meaning and for some answers to life.

Magic of Snow

Anyway, having spent five winters in the Arctic Circle as part of the Royal Marines Mountain and Arctic warfare specialists I had a lot of ski experience. It felt like a good time to explore something new so I went into the professional ski industry and ended up working in ski schools all over Europe. I taught skiing by day and partied by night but despite my job and the people around me there was still a real loneliness that somehow never left me. This was when a long-time hobby began to turn my life in a completely different direction, almost as if by magic!

Magic and illusion had been a hobby of mine and now that I wasn’t in the Marines I found I had the time to practise and improve my skills. Eventually people were offering me money to come and entertain at parties and other events. After a while this was happening so often – and it was fun and paid well – that it made sense to go full time! I ended up moving to London, doing television for the BBC and ITV and working at some of the best parties in London and abroad. Quite a contrast to dodging bombs! I was now a member of the Magic Circle in London and was often asked to perform for other magicians at their events and to lecture to magicians as well. Once again, I was living the dream – movie companies hired me for their movie premier parties and between 1992 and 2009 I was the Arsenal football club magician. Offers also came from motor racing and during the 1994 season I presented magic for McLaren F1 at the Grand Prix. Life was exciting and the money flowed in!

Happiness was an Illusion

Somehow, though, there was still a gap in my life – and the scars and hurts from my childhood were always lurking in the background – so I did the same as many young, successful people do and tried to fill the emptiness in my life with parties and drink. I spent money as fast as I earned it but nothing helped – I had a real sense that I needed to go deeper and somehow the thought of having some sort of religious faith kept coming up in conversations. I thought I was a Christian but I couldn’t have answered a single question about God and I knew nothing from the Bible and hardly anything about Jesus other than the Christmas story. I’d been in the Boys’ Brigade as a lad and I’d had ‘Church of England’ on my dog tags when I’d been in the Marines – but I could see that the idea that I was a real Christian was just another of my illusions.

Beyond the Illusion

So, one day in 1997, I did something that might seem rather strange. However, I had spent a fair amount of my adult life doing courses of one sort or another, so I knocked on a random church door near where I lived and asked if they had any courses on God. I thought that at least if I did a beginners’ course this might teach me something about finding a sense of purpose for my life. By now I was really looking for some peace and meaning – when you’ve been through the range of experiences I had by this time you tend to realize that there has got to be more to life!

No Fakery needed

Anyway, there was a course – and I loved it and felt right at home from the start. There was a meal and a talk each week and then we went and discussed what we’d heard. I really enjoyed the whole experience and wanted to know more about this Jesus they talked about. I was told that all I had to do was invite Him into my heart and my life would change for the better and He would help me find some of the answers to those burning questions: where I had come from, why I was here and where I was going. I knew I lacked direction and needed help from God.

I was given a prayer to say, similar to the one at the end of this booklet. The prayer was pretty simple – it just said sorry for the past and asked for help for today and tomorrow and that Jesus would come and help give me meaning, direction and new life with a purpose.

WHAM BHAM How’s that

Over the next few weeks I noticed some fairly dramatic changes and I had this sense of amazing peace in my heart. I felt as if I didn’t have to try so hard – and I no longer felt so alone or as if my life lacked meaning. Since then I have had a real sense of purpose and my friendships and relationships are deeper and truer. I found out that Jesus is the most exciting person I have ever met! It sounds bizarre that I can speak to Him and hear Him as He gives me direction and help on an everyday basis, but that’s how it is.

He can do Miracles

Jesus would love to know you as well, and to make God known to you. When you ask Him into your heart anything is possible and your life will change for the better even if you don’t think that’s possible. From the day I invited Jesus into my heart I have never felt bored or alone. Words can’t really describe it – it’s something that each person has to experience for themselves. I now have meaning and direction. Yes, there are challenges but I don’t fear them in the same way as I did before.

Five years ago I decided to explore further and applied to join the Church of England as an ordained vicar. Now I travel the country communicating the message of hope. Magic and creative illustrations are still are part of what I do – they really help me to connect with people in a whole range of situations, even those in prison. I have also found a wife after years of fear of commitment and I’ve never been happier! Life is actually better than magic!

No matter what your history or story, Jesus knows you and He wants to be part of your life too. He wants to bring a depth and meaning to your life that you’ve probably never experienced before. I would really encourage you to take a step and explore who Jesus is – you could start by doing an Alpha course, as I did – it would really make a difference. If you know that you want to begin this new life, then you could say the prayer at the end of this booklet – but don’t keep it to yourself, contact me and I’ll put you in touch with others in your area who can tell you their story and listen to yours. You’ll find great encouragement from sharing this with others.

Life-changing Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, here I am, I can come no other way, so take me as I am. Thank you for loving me even though I haven’t loved you. You know the things I have done which are not great and have not been pleasing in your eyes. I ask that you forgive me for all the selfish and sinful things that I have done of which some are still in my life. Thank you for forgiving me and coming into my life. Help me now as I start over again, but this time with you at the centre. No longer am I going to go my own way. Today I am deciding to follow you by asking you to be my saviour and Lord. Lord Jesus, send your Holy Spirit, to help me know without doubt that you have come into my life. Amen.

If you have said this prayer and meant it I would like to say you have just made one of the best decisions you will ever make in your life – Congratulations!
Don’t forget to let me know by getting in touch with me by email. I’d love to hear your story!

Alpha Course

Explore Christianity

The Alpha Course allows people to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed setting over ten thought-provoking weekly sessions. The courses are free and are usually run in the evening and include a meal or refreshments. To find a course near you go to alpha.org.

Find a Church

Find a Church

Find a Church run a brilliant website listing the details of more than 42,000 UK Christian churches. Simply tap in your postcode for help to find a great church in you area. Go to findachurch.co.uk.