“As you thumb through the years, you may never know where this all is going. The only thing you know is that there’s more to the story. That soon enough you’ll flip back to this day looking for clues of what was to come, rereading all the chapters you skimmed through to get to the good parts—only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.”
I thought I knew where I was headed when I found Jesus.
The full-gospel movement set the bar high. There was expectancy that god would move, act, transform, and guide. That he, in the seemingly random chaos of life, had a plan and that each of us fit somewhere in it as ‘daughters and sons of the king.’
My Christian journey began with passion, hunger and thirst for the living, breathing god promised to me in church and in the bible. For years I pursued this faith trusting god to meet me right where I was, flaws and all, to build a personal relationship with him.
But expectations were taxed as one decade rolled into the next enveloped in an endless silence. Prayer produced nothing of certainty year after prayerful year.
Attaching meaning to god’s silence quenched the thirst for a time. We filled in the gaps with assurance that it was an honor to be “trusted with his silence.” We told ourselves that his silence would help us, “better hear the whispers of god” and that silence was in fact, a blessing.
As if any of us knew what that really meant given the countless Christians and preachers who boldly proclaimed, “God spoke to me”.
Immersed in passages I didn’t understand, the story stopped making sense.
In time, it became a real mind game. Inserting faith into god’s lack of participation required great creative thinking, word manipulation and careful bible cherry picking. I grabbed onto anything, anything at all that might be attributed to the hand of god.
If I could stretch a regular occurrence of life far enough, it could become my miracle. And at least for that moment, I could say, “See? There he is! Just like he promised.”
How long can one keep forcing ordinary happenstance to meet the criteria of answered prayer? How long should one have to play the game of semantics? How many times do the promises of the bible have to fail before we peek up from its pages for a glimpse of what’s real? Is it time to give the science of belief consideration?
For me, days turned into months, and months into years as I fervently sought the face of the illusive almighty. I spent hours praying his “Word,” inviting his presence into my life and telling myself that the shiver I felt was an answer to prayer. The disciplines of the faith ruled my life and set its trajectory.
I finally had to ask myself, when is it time to stop playing this exhausting game? When is it time to choose my own adventure?
Maybe after four decades, it’s the right time or perhaps it’s…
Way Past Due