I was raised in the church, but my experience there was as tepid as lukewarm tea. Thus when I went to college I took not a Bible nor a faith worth mentioning. I believed in God, but it was a vague sort of believing. He was up there and I down here. He was big and I small. He was significant and I was not.
I tried a church or two my freshmen year, but they were not only tepid, but limp and weak. Their tea cup might have held a tea bag, but otherwise there was no color or flavor to the drink. Dozing was a popular activity in the pew, that or rote recitation of what was said last week. There was no luster to the gathering and I eventually slipped away, unnoticed.
I was a believer or would have said so, but that was my extent of knowing God. I was busy and so was he, though not, I assumed with me. I rattled around making decisions that weren’t bad, but they were not ones that involved him.
Until… Isn’t it interesting that we often have an “until” experience to discover our need? My “until” experience was a major illness that left me frightened and alone.
Though I was brought up going to church, I was also brought up valuing education, upward mobility, power and money. Getting ahead was the name of the game. But when you are faced with eternity, getting ahead here quickly looses its luster. Would it matter there if I had status here? Could I take any earnings with me? What about power or degrees? None of this would travel to where I was headed.
It wasn’t so much the possibility of death that was the concern, but it was the possibility of life that now seemed so depressing. What was my purpose? What values did I now hold? Money, power and prestige lost their brilliance. Though I would remain in school why in the world did I stay? What would be the reason?
Could I learn to live what I had professed so long ago to believe? Was there something to be had here that could travel with me there? Could I take my tepid faith and have it blossom? Could I change my church raising to being raised up in Christ?
Thus began a long slow turn from tepid faith to true relationship, from knowledge to experience, from worldly love to deep and abiding love, from a me focus to a him focus. The path hasn’t been straight or as expected. It hasn’t been fast or always forward focused. In fact, I have wondered at times if I was moving at all. But in the stillness I discovered he continues his raising up. Are you seeking to be raised up in Christ? He has a journey for you to take and he longs to be your companion in these travels.