I’ve always been curious. I’ve always liked to understand how things work. It’s funny how life seems to put things in front of you where you make a conscious decision to follow up on something or not.
When you are young and finally on your own, there are a lot of decisions to make. Unfortunately what we are taught in our education system, doesn’t really prepare you for the ramifications of ill thought out decisions. Most times, youth has a tendency to do what they see others doing. That’s pretty well what I did. My family wasn’t religious. We never talked about God and my Mom or Dad very seldom went to Church, so I didn’t get much guidance there. My Grandmother went to Church and I remember her as kind and she made delicious cookies and bought me my first bike. I was adopted when just a few months old so the “family” connection was always a little on the thin side. It’s just the way it was.
As a young teen I did infrequently go to Church with some of my friends but it never really “took”. I do remember sitting in Church one Sunday and seeing the sun shine through the window on the Minister as he gave his sermon, and for some reason that image seemed to stay with me. Kind of an “I’ll get back to this later” moment. As I entered into my late teens and early twenties most of my free time was focused in partying and other social related activities. The Bible says that sin can be pleasurable for a season (Hebrews 11:25) and it can and it was but the key words to note are “for a season”. I began to develop a dependency on alcohol and I could see that wasn’t a good thing and was getting out of hand. The female relationships I was pursuing weren’t proving to be beneficial either as they were mostly shallow and basically meaningless. My motives in these relationships undoubtedly had a huge part to play in the reality I was experiencing.
I’ve spoken before in a couple of my posts about sitting on the door step of a military barracks block in Ottawa, Ontario and asking God if He was real to show Himself to me. And He did, the very next day.
That’s where my journey to start to learn and know God began. But not only do you learn a lot of things about God that you never knew before but you also learn a lot of things about yourself that for some reason you previously just breezed over or never noticed. My path wasn’t straight, there were a number of bends in it. Always liked to be in control and that attitude doesn’t work well when you are asking God to direct your life. I also have a bit of a stubborn streak in me, don’t like backing down from something that I want. Had some hard lessons to learn there.
The purpose behind this post is to focus on what I overlooked, what I missed, as a young and middle aged adult, even though I was involved with the Church along the way.
When you’re married, in the military, moving every 4 or 5 years, dealing with raising kids, trying to make ends meet and advancements in your job, time is precious. Don’t get me wrong, I did a lot of things that normal Christians would do, attended Church, taught Sunday School, conducted in home Bible studies, served as a Lay Preacher and read and studied a lot of books including the Bible. I also got to see many different parts of the world and the people, Christian and non-Christian, who lived there. The lasting impression I came away with is that people are all basically the same, doesn’t really matter where you are. Plus, we in North America are extremely fortunate. The vast majority of people in the world don’t have the choices or advantages that we have, in a lot of cases, not even close.
The point that I am stressing in this particular post is that you can have a superficial interest in God, go through the motions and still not make the connection that I believe we all look for and that God wants us to have. There are so many pointers that God uses to help us make that connection, that funnels us towards the need to yoke ourselves to Him.
Matthew 11:29 (NIV) “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
How could I possibly not take seriously enough the reality of what everything around me shouts out? Our universe, our galaxy, our solar system, our planet, our body, our DNA, right down to basic cells. Everything screams out of unimaginable complexity and design. That this all happened by chance isn’t even an option. God is real. He wants us to acknowledge this and proves this by what He has made. Study world religions long enough and you will come to the conclusion that Christianity is totally different from all other world religions. He has left us His Revelation. It’s trustworthy, proven and verifiable in world and Church history. The Gospel stands out, the Gospel is real. Jesus was and is real and He proved that He was and is who He said He was through the Resurrection (It Happened). Jesus is the only begotten Son of the living Most High God. You can’t ignore this and carry on like it doesn’t matter, but many do. What causes this lack of focus, this denial?
It’s pretty simple actually, now that I look back on it. Priorities. What’s really important. We allow our perceived daily needs or desires to get in the way. It can be a host of things that sound reasonable, from a humanistic perspective. There’s a very delicate balance that needs to be maintained and it is so easy to allow the top priority to fall to the lesser value. I wish I had learned this lesson earlier in my life. I held it up a few times but too often I let it go.
If we treated our marriages like we do serving God, can you imagine what our marriages would be like? Can you imagine telling your wife or husband that you enjoyed being with them for an hour on Sunday and that you will see them again next week? Yet that is what many Christians do with God. It doesn’t work that way.
Our loving God wants a relationship with us and His Spirit He has placed in us responds to that time spent with Him like nothing else. Time in His Word, time in prayer, time in praise, time in thanksgiving, with Him, whenever we can, everyday.
Is there a cost, absolutely. It’s not easy. You need a partner that has the same priorities that you have. There will be sacrifices, misunderstandings, there will be shortfalls, not from God meeting our needs but from us not trusting in Him. Just don’t waste the years that I did.
Filed under: Apologetics, Christian, Religion