Tuesday, May 15, 2012

People and God

Something that I'm finding intriguing these days:

A lot of people connected to churches, institutions to which they are by no means required to attach themselves (we as a culture being no longer consumed by medieval fears of hell or 1950s expectations of suburban belonging), have, as far as I can tell, little interest in a deep encounter with God. 

That's not a criticism; it's an observation, and one that increasingly fascinates me.  I am talking about deeply good people: kind, generous, invested in caring for others. People who are much nicer than I am.   I'm talking about people who seldom miss a Sunday morning in church and are engaged in all kinds of church work and activity.  People who work much harder than I do.  I'm also talking about people who seldom approach a church but, upon being asked, would assure you that they are Christian believers.  Most of them are truly excellent human beings.

I remember myself very clearly as a sixteen-year-old girl standing out in the snow under a star-filled expanse of western Massachusetts sky and asking of the God in whom I did not believe, "Who are you and what are you doing?"

I assumed (and yeah, we all know how to parse that word) that my questions were typical ones.  I'm still asking them.

But I see that a lot of people aren't.

I think a lot of people find God bland, or boring, or easy to take for granted, or just kind of there.  Even people negotiating major life transitions, for good or for ill, don't seem to expect much in the way of involvement from God.

Isn't that interesting?


  1. I think that you are onto something here...

  2. I have had similar experience of asking as a teenager of a God in whom I did beleive (just to complicate matters) what He thought he was playing at. I too discover that these are not always common questions.

  3. I'm learning that it's true for ministers, too, and I'm baffled by it.

  4. I think our culture, for the most part, "assumes" God in a place very removed from "here" and "now."

  5. Baffles me, too, yes. I wonder if over here (UK) our innate British stiff upper-lipishness might have something to do with it?