This is a question I've been asking myself daily, and for the most part, my answer has been -- no.
I believe in God, but I can't say that God has a consistent presence in my life. I guess an analogy would be like having a father in north korea. I would obviously believe that my father exists, but since i don't communicate/spend time with him, i can't really say that he has an impact on my life.
In college, apart from STSM, i can't say that i really grew in my love/understanding of God. And for a while, i was like, "God, WHY!? Why do i feel so stagnant and dry?" I read the word consistently, prayed daily, attended church weekly, and tried my best to be involved and plugged in with ministry at KCM.
Talking with Amos on the banks of Manhattan. I'm 90% sure people thought we were a gay couple.
After going to New York and talking a bit with Amos, i started to kinda figure it out. I guess mproblem was that God was more of an idea to me than an actual living/moving God. I also placed God as a means to an end. God was my meal ticket to heaven. I thought that as long as i read the bible and strayed away from sin, that i was on my merry way to heaven, and God would just be the magic carpet that took me up there when i died. I thought that by being a christian, i escaped the default punishment of hell when i die. But that's not what christianity is about.
The end goal isn't going to heaven. The end goal is being with and finding God.
To be honest, my fuel for reading the word/praying was guilt. every night i sit in bed, and right before i sleep, i reflect on my day and say, "If i lived the entire day doing my own thing, i have to be able to give God these 15 minutes to read the word." Where's the love? I read the bible out of feeling pity for God?? who the hell do i think i am??
I was more dedicated to the motions of being a christian, than i was to loving God. Another analogy would be like having a girlfriend in norcal. I dont think any guy loves driving 300 miles, or talking on the phone/aim for hours at a time. Let me clarify - I dont think any guy(in their right mind) likes doing those things, just to do them. When's the last time you heard of someone driving 6 hours just to drive? or someone who talking to a piece of plastic for no apparent reason? The reason why a guy would do this, is because he loves the person on the other side of the phone, or because he is committed to that girl living hundreds of miles away.
I'm that stupid guy that drives 300 miles, for the sake of driving (and not for the girl).
My commitment to the motions of being a christian was like having an addiction to the petty/useless stuff of a relationship. And in a way, we are in a long-distance relationship with God, because we don't have a chance on earth to spend continuous time with him. Yea, we do get extended periods of time where we leave our comfort zones and spend time dedicated soley to Him (ie. missions/retreats/conferences/etc). but in the broad scope of things, i don't think anyone has a 24/7 direct presence with God, but that's i mean, that's why heaven is going to be so beautiful. Chilling with God 24/7??? hollla. So i guess till then, we just have to keep fighting and wrestling to soak in as much God as we can here on earth.
Sorry to the people who read this whole post. I SUCK at writing. I would rather just do math problems, draw a graph, or take some pictures, but it's kinda hard to convey all my thoughts through those mediums. So hopefully i get better at this writing business.
-AP | Photography