Reflections on things that matter.
I can’t tell you how irregular my life has been for the past couple of years. I’ve been up and down and left and right, and happy and sad, an focused and distracted. My personal life, I am learning, is a direct reflection of my spiritual state, and in my recent spiritual upheaval, I lost sight of a lot of the things that keep me stable. I ran away from every semblance of religious discipline because I didn’t really know what it was for. I stopped praying, I stopped reading my Bible daily, I stopped going to church for awhile, and I didn’t want to even hear most Christian music. It all felt so restrictive because I knew forms of religion, but I didn’t really understand how to connect to God with them.
Well thanks be to God, he has been teaching me how to know HIM and not forms of religion, but I am having to rebuild all of my spiritual disciplines. I had to break away because I knew the right forms for the wrong reasons, but now that I have the reasons, I am learning that the forms are not wrong. A lot of my emotional turmoil has subsided recently, but in the past few weeks, I’ve recognized that I am very short on energy to deal with myself. I also begun to notice exactly what gives me strength.
The Word of God.
Pretty much for the first time in my life I can feel the impact that God’s word has on my soul. It’s almost exactly like when I notice I’m low on certain nutrients in my body. I’ve recently begun to pay attention to how my body feels when I don’t eat certain foods. My body begins to crave the nutrients I’m missing, and once I feed it nutrient-rich foods, I feel better almost instantly. This is the new reality of God’s Word to my soul. It’s my nutrient rich food. It’s my charger. I literally feel the life of God flowing into me when I expose myself to his word.
I spent most of my young adult life hearing how important the Word of God is for relationship with God, but I never read for my relationship then the way I do now. I read to “be Christian.” That’s what Christian kids do, right? Read the Bible every day, pray every day, go to church all the time. They were tasks to check off, and I didn’t know what they were for. Not really. Now, I feel like Peter when he asked Jesus “where else can we go? You have the words of life.” I actually know the strength and power of the word of God in my life, and I’d be a fool to neglect it now.
Sometimes you don’t know what you are doing when you pray, or when you read your Bible. Start asking yourself why you read and pray (or why you don’t read and pray). Our reasons behind things really do surprise us sometimes. Reading the Bible and praying daily because “you’re supposed to” is just like starting a routine of exercise and proper eating because you “know it’s good for you.” Those routines rarely last until you see why it matters. Evaluate why you do Christian things, and ask your self why they matter? Be honest and see if it doesn’t make a difference.