How do I get spirituality?
This question was asked recently by a blogger. It made me stop and think.
I was brought up in a different age. Many children went to Sunday School. Almost all shops were closed on Sundays and on Good Friday. There were not many activities available on Sundays. It was possible to go to the cinema, but that would be in the afternoon or evening. A walk in the park was all many families enjoyed for Sunday entertainment.
Even having been brought up to know about God, the Bible, the creeds (handed down beliefs of the Church), it has still been necessary for my generation (like every generation) to make the faith our own. This means taking hold of the promises of God and acting on them.
One verse, which was both a help and a sticking point for me for a long time was, James 4:8
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Often I could not sense the presence of God. Many people experience times when God does not seem near. However He keeps his promises.
He is a holy God and sin (wrong-doing) separates us from his presence. If we admit that we have done wrong and turn back to God, He forgives us. This is possible because of the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, to rescue us from a life of sin, his Holy Spirit strengthens us to live a new life.
Unfortunately we often turn back to our old ways and have to keep going back to God to say sorry and to begin again.
I imagine the Christian life as being a bit like riding a bicycle. At first we fall off a lot and have to keep getting up and starting again. Even when we have been practising for a long time, we may wobble. An unexpected obstacle may throw us off balance. We may take a wrong turning, but we have a map (the Bible) and a communication channel (prayer) to get us back on the right road. By this time we have probably learned that we can trust the One we have asked to support us.
Cyclists can go out alone, but having others around can help when times are hard. It is the same with believers in God. Meeting together to worship God, pray, read the Bible, learn from others and encourage one another is important.
Becoming a Christian does not make anyone immune from the troubles of life, including physical or mental illness. His concern for mentally ill people is demonstrated by several accounts of people healed. The description of their conditions is rather different from modern language.
However Christianity provides a firm foundation on which to build our lives. Christians are never without a counsellor. Jesus invites everyone to follow Him. Come to me… Matthew 11:28-30
After I had scheduled this Taking Jesus at His Word appeared in my reader. It says it far better than I have!