I couldn’t relate to God and nobody seemed to really care.
In church they told me God was a father, they called him Abba, I liked the word but I never knew my father, he hurt my mother and never helped me or my family in any way, that kind of father? They told me God was a provider, they called him El Shaddai, but my mom worked 3 jobs and put herself in the hospital to provide for just me and my brother, I was told we were all God’s children, “he has to provide for all these children!” I thought, I guessed I’d never see him, he’d always be working. I went to Sunday school on some occasions. When we were not coloring pictures depicting Noah’s Ark or David and Goliath we were memorizing scriptures and what they called the A B C’s to salvation. In a few years when I was older I was lucky to move up to the youth group which focused more on memorizing entire scriptures intended for making us feel guilty for doubt, sex and bad grades. We also talked about this thing called apologetics, which was all about defending our faith in school. Most of my time in church was spent learning how to defend this faith I still had so many questions about. They spent more time telling me what to believe, rather than who to believe in. I still didn’t know how to relate to God.
Now things are different. I spend much of my time helping many people find God in the world around them. Let me introduce you to my brother Allen, he is a writer of music, he is a worship leader, he plays almost every instrument know to man. He has a passion for music few will ever understand, he’s gone as far to make music his profession. He is not necessarily the most religious or typical Christian, he veers from theological topics and keeps distance from taking a verbal stance on many things because “we are all different.” I’d imagine if you ask my brother Allen who God is, he might pass over the father, provider and burning bush euphemisms. I think he would say something along the lines of how God is a vibration, to him God speaks through the vibration of strings, leather on drum heads and the vibrating of chords in the throat while singing. For him I think music goes farther and deeper than it does for me, but God is speaking to him in a different way when someone is playing, singing or dancing. This is his Horeb moment.
How beautiful to witness a God who distinctly will reveal himself to each one of us as we need. A few years back I decided to take a breather from this Christian thing. I chronicle this journey in my upcoming book, An Emerging Spirituality.
I took some time to breathe and what God began to teach me was when I take time to breathe I am becoming closer with God. God gave existence to everything in the garden of Eden, but he only breathed into man. He gave mankind something called “life”. This life was something different than being alive because the animals, water and plants were alive, but they didn’t have life. Life is purpose, life is intention, life is hope and dreams. Animals are alive, but a dog doesn’t get upset when his finances are in peril because he has stuff to do before he turns 30, he doesn’t cry when he sees a child starving to death when he knows he can do something. When we take some time to breathe we are taking a moment to become aware of God and the more he wants to do with us, we are becoming one with God.
Take a breath today, just breathe.