On my way out of my old job, one of my creative directors asked me what the “communication point” of Christianity is. Without a pause, I immediately replied like I’ve really thought about it – “it’s romance with God”.
It was a breakthrough statement for him. I could see in his face that that was the last thing he’d ever expect me to say. I thought what a sad thing religion had made out of the greatest thing that ever happened to man since he fell into sin.
And yet, there was a great deal of hypocrisy to what I felt at that moment because in honest truth, for the longest time I’ve wondered and struggled with what the point of it all was. I’ve been wrestling with the reasons why I need to live for Him, why I need to not be “of the world” but rather “set apart”.
I’ve grown up in church and all this is buzz phrases for me that had no real significance. Sometimes I’d get a flicker of fire of what these things meant, but my brain would quickly blow cold air and my heart would never be captivated. These were just the rules I had to follow. But the meaning, the passion – these were unknown to my spirit.
Instead, I would struggle against going for all the world had to offer. I would rebel against all the weak and seemingly pathetic “church people” I know and despise having to align myself with that “group”. I would weep at the apparent monotony of a Christian’s life, having to do the daily routine just to please other people, to walk the line, just to appear ‘good’.
Often, I would wish I met Jesus when I was a bit older. I would think that, maybe then, there would be more appreciation for what He had done for me. and I’ve never understood why a person would want to have been a Christian earlier in his life. I became born again when I was in 3rd grade. While it’s kept me from being a junky and messed up, it sadly hasn’t exactly been a life of power and victory.
I think that I got a bit of the truth, (i know that i need to find myself in Jesus, that my core need to be anchored in Him because no one else can truly define who I am but my Maker and the longing we have in our hearts for love is the hole left by where God used to be before the fall), but somehow, I still didn’t get the big picture. I still missed the heart of God in all of this.
I’ve never understood, not truly, deeply, to the core of my being, why the gospel was called the good news. Secretly in my soul I’ve be asking, good news? What’s the bad news? Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the realness of hell and any way to get out of that would be good news, but fear can’t be the only motivation to get to know God, right? There’s got to be something better. And I never really got it.
Love, everyone shouts back at me. It’s all about love.
And it just draws a blank in my being.
Countless times I’ve asked God for forgiveness for not having as much passion for Him as I know I should have. I know this is true of me because if I were as passionate for Him as I could be for a really good book I’ve read or a really fab play I’ve seen, then so much more of my friends would’ve heard my gushing about the most amazing God that we have. But they haven’t, because I’ve not been really convinced myself.
In the book Miller wrote, he noted that salvation seems to be a question of our knowing God and God knowing us. I couldn’t resist whispering, “God, do you know me?”
These all seems pretty basic stuff Christians should know, but doesn’t a wife at their 23rd year of marriage still wonder if her husband loves her? It isn’t about getting all the facts straight in your head, is it? Not by a long mile.
And while my sister has written her side comments all over the book, I couldn’t help but post mine up instead for all to read in case someone as struggling as I was, feeling condemned as I was, would feel a little bit of relief. Because God is big enough to handle all the doubts, if we let Him. He IS the lover of our soul and patiently calls on us to seek Him. The depth and extravagance of His love can lure anyone to fall passionately, deeply in love with Him. Over and over and over again.
Without them even meaning to.