Monday, February 11, 2013

Perceptions of Reality: There Must Be More

A while back, Frank Viola posted a blog that still haunts me. His title, which I have borrowed, says it all:  "There must be more."  
He wrote, "Several years after I began following the Lord, having had a taste of present-day Christianity from various and sundry stripes and flavors, a cry was birthed in my heart that wouldn’t be silenced."

He's made a decision for God, but it's not enough.  His heart tells him there's more.
There's more to life than what he's experiencing.  
There more to faith than what he sees in the church.  
If God is infinite and awesome, then there there must be more than what he knows.
I felt the same cry birthed inside my heart in my early thirties. After a lifetime of church, a lifetime of learning memory verses, of viewing Christianity as the most rational choice any person can make, I started asking questions.
Is it worth it?
Why do we work so hard in church?
What’s the point?
Are our lives any different than any one else’s?
The questions scared me.
Walking away from the church, from my perception of faith, scared me because no matter how shallow my experience with God was, I knew God was real.
So there had to be more.
Sermons and songs tend to simplify complex multifaceted principles.  They make me feel that if I just read the Bible more, pray more, spend more time in ministry, or join another Life Group, then I'll experience "something more."  
But life is complex.  Nothing is simple.  And learning about someone just isn't the same as spending time with that person. 

I try to reflect those complexities in this blog.  I try to communicate the reality of experiencing God.  Nevertheless, sometimes I go back and read something I've written, and I think, "I'm giving pat answers.  That's not real."  
  • Real is opening my Bible and not knowing what to read.
  • Real is praying and wondering if the words go past the ceiling.
  • Real is messy disagreements between people who can't remember why they're friends.
  • Real is doubts and dry spells and wondering if God will break into my world and rescue me from my mistakes.  Real is wondering if he loves me enough to do that.  
I talk about real a lot in this blog.  I talk about complexities and disappointments and doubts, and I talk about God breaking into my world to show me that something more that I long for so much.

Sometimes I get glimpses of that something more, but only glimpses.  If I don't write them down, I forget them.  They cease to seem real; they're more like dreams.  
God does not work in five steps.  Or ten.  How do we experience the "more"?  How does "more" become "real"?  
There are no formulas. And God's always changing it up.
That's part of the difficulty.  And part of the beauty. 
That's the reality of God, and that's the reality of life.   
There is more. There is always more.
This year I'm committing to seeking more.  

1 comment:

Caryn Christensen said...

"Real is opening my Bible and not knowing what to read." That IS reality...thanks for being transparant Erin.