Original post: February 11, 2008; repost: March 7, 2010.
Have you ever been so caught up, so affected, so (dare I say) in love with someone that it was hard to think about anything or anyone else? So much so that the first thing you think about in the morning is her and the last thing you think about in the evening is her, and pretty much every moment of the day in between is spent thinking about her; and then you’ve been thinking about her so much during your waking hours that you even dream about her. So much so that you forget to turn off your car and take the keys out of the ignition after driving home with her. And your heart skips a beat when you see her, and the butterflies go crazy in your stomach when she calls, and you just don’t want time to pass when you’re together.
I love being in love.
But it sounds a little unsustainable, doesn’t it? Probably highly inadvisable, maybe even a little unhealthy, in the long run. How would you be able to give our full attention to the other things in life, to papers, or work, or hanging out with other friends, if your mind was completely captured by the other person?
I wonder if our relationship with God works the same way. I love those ‘high points’, those moments of spiritual ecstasy and intensity, where the presence of God is so tangible, where I never want to leave the moment, where I even dream that I’m praying. I love when shivers go down my spine when I see thousands of Christians worshiping together, singing with one voice to the one God. I love it.
But like the heightened sense of being in love, it’s not really sustainable. Because it doesn’t take into account the rest of life, the reality that life is hard and complicated and gritty, and requires perseverance rather than momentary passion, patience rather than immediate gratification, and sometimes, maybe it requires the absence of God to allow us to grow up and learn to relate as adults.
A lot of friends have gone through, and are going through, difficult periods, where God is just absent. And I can’t offer an explanation. For some, they’ve never experienced those spiritual highs, the tangible closeness of God, and they don’t know why. I don’t know why.
Over the years, through wrestling with my own faith and trying to figure out what it’s supposed to look like, I’ve learned to leave some things unexplained and just go on faith. And somehow, God gives me faith enough not to know it all. Wherever you are on your journey, I pray that he gives you faith enough as well.