I was introduced to the “Christian” life at a very young age. Right away, actually. So there has never been a time in my life when I haven’t had knowledge of Christ, the crucifixion, and the idea that we are sinners, He is love, and somewhere out of that equation, we have been saved and should be thankful. And truthfully, none of that really sank in on a personal level until my senior year of high school, when I felt Him tugging at my heart in a personal way.
There have been moments in the years since then that I have felt extremely insecure about the amount of knowledge and understanding I have regarding WHAT I believe and WHY I believe it. I was never really disciplined about reading the Bible, and although I went to church on a fairly regular basis, I wasn’t really absorbing much. I think I spent a lot of time looking for mountaintop moments. The kind that smack you in the face and make God so real and crystal clear, that you are just busting with joy. That was the only way I ever really knew that what I believed was real. The rest of the time I just went through the motions, tried to be a “good person” and fell in and out of various traps that I knowingly and unknowingly wandered in to. The traps are always going to be there – I’m finally beginning to understand this frustrating truth. I thought by the time I was an adult (whatever that means!), I’d be much better at avoiding them. I’m only slightly better.
I’d say the thing that is changing now, more than ever, is that I’m taking the time to really think about what I believe. It’s bringing questions to mind that have less to do with religion, and more with what’s going on in the world and what it shows me about the spiritual realm.
For instance, I’m going through the God Story course, and in one section, I’m asked the question “What do you believe concerning good and evil in the world?” Kind of a big question, huh? But what it brought to mind for me was how there is a deep sense of dissatisfaction and loneliness in the world around me, which is shown in how we treat each other and ourselves. Everyone seems to be clawing for the same thing – love, acceptance, happiness. However, over time we just seem to be getting more and more self-destructive. I feel that this clearly displays the battle that’s going on for our hearts, and how we constantly seek out satisfaction in things that this world can offer us. I can honestly say from experience that those things never satisfy. And yet, even with that knowledge, and with a strong desire to not get sucked in to darkness, it’s an ever-present force that is sometimes very difficult to go against. It can be enticing because it doesn’t always appear to be dangerous or evil on the surface. It can just seem like a pleasurable or exciting option. Constantly walking that line can be exhausting, and we all fail at times. But in the “big picture”, I know that it’s a line worth walking, because it’s what brings my heart back to a place of peace.
Asking questions and really digging for answers is helping me to come alive in my belief…it’s no longer just about a set of rules for proper behavior. It’s becoming more about seeing how the spiritual world is intertwined with my everyday life, and my personal relationship with God is becoming deeper and more meaningful. Feels like it’s been a long time coming.
Until next time,