Over the last several years, I really, truly, sincerely tried to become a Christian. I followed the example of my Baptist pastor father and my upbringing – I read the Bible, went to church, listened to podcasts and read books on theology, prayed several times daily, etc. In a meditative state from prayer and Bible devotions, I sometimes felt pretty spiritual. I convinced myself that God was real and Jesus was my savior even before re-reading the gospels. But the novelty wore off, and logic overwhelmed the situation.
What I read was either non-nonsensical, morally backward, or simply unconvincing and impotent. The more I read the Bible, the less I believed. I read the first 5 books of the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs (where I found some useful wisdom, I have to admit), and the entire New Testament (I particularly enjoyed the book of James). I prayed before and after each reading, asking God to open my heart and mind to His word, and to guide me through the day/week living the lessons I found in the Bible. I wanted to surrender myself to Him, and ask Him to take me through life with His plan and I would accept life’s ups and downs with His grace.
Life did not change, I never heard God’s voice, felt his presence, or saw some sort of divine intervention. I realized I was in my room, by myself, talking to the air, waiting to feel, hear, see something, anything. I wanted God to give me at least a hint of communication, without me deluding myself and saying, “I see God in the birth of my kids,” (which I waited for some feeling of God’s presence come over me at the birth of my first son, but it didn’t happen) “I see God in nature,” “I hear God in beautiful music,” “I feel God in my heart,” etc. All of this is subjective and proves nothing.
What I finally realized is this:
God only exists if I imagine it.