I may be starting a series here.
I've never known a time without knowing God in my life. I was taught about God as a little child and the fascination caught me. This is not to say that I haven't had many, many times when I felt I was praying to a blank wall or wanted to punch God out. Nor does it mean I've achieved a level of holiness that you all should imitate.
But, let's pretend, I'm just starting out as an adult and I want to know about God. Where shall I begin?
I'm aware that "christians" don't appeal to many people. If it's not the stunted view of the world shown by the right wing believers, it's the goofy Precious Moments sentimentality of the pious and overly-devoted. I'm not attracted to either. Don't want a stunted world view. I want an understanding of God which recognizes God's magnitude, mystery and ability to transform human hearts. As for the Precious Moments type of faith, I'm too hungry to be fed by sentimentality. I live in a real world, not a fantasy where sweetness and light is enough to fix the problems of life together. Give me more.
I might begin my search by looking at my life and noting where I am broken. What am I missing when I look around my world? What am I paying attention to that is empty rather than life-giving? After considering these questions, and others, I may have a direction to follow. If knowing God means anything, it must have something to do with ordinary life. Life of lunchboxes, taxes, partners, death and etc. Otherwise, it's back to the Precious Moments concept of faith and it's brother "I'll just name what I want and claim it" thinking. (If this worked then all five year olds would have a pony, a real live pony, in their back yards).
I might have to spend a good bit of time thinking about my anger at God. Presumptious thought that I, a speck on the windshield of life, am worthy to have anger at God, but Geez Louise! who among us has not wanted to punch out God? As the author says, "our arms are too short to box with God." Yep. Where am I angry? Is it because my childhood taught me that authority figures aren't dependable? Do I worry that I will be abandoned, unloved and uncherished at my life's end? Has the grief of death convinced me that God doesn't give two hoots about me and my life? Have I found that when I really put my weight on God, God didn't help me?
I worked on the anger issue for years and haven't completed it, yet. For several years I ignored God because all the faith stuff was getting on my nerves. I could not relate to the christians around me. I cared about different things. I didn't want to be holy as they were holy. I didn't realize that we come to faith as individuals with all our individuality intact. It's us, as we really are, that we bring to God, not some copy of how someone else does the faith.
My anger sizzled again when I had my first encounter with infertilty. It was clear to me that I was "worthy" of having a baby but I couldn't get past all the infertility stuff. Doctors, more doctors and miserable physical stuff interfered with my relationship with my loving spouse. I believed I deserved a baby and I was being denied. Made me mad. Hurt my feelings. Made me wonder what in the heavens God was doing not making my body produce a baby. Crappy mothers conceived in the alleys of bar rooms while I was a shining example of goodness and couldn't conceive. (Try to read this without laughing at my audacity. I must have thought there was a "good girl premium" in the cosmos. I thought I deserved what I asked for and so I was angry as the dickens.)
I'll not tell you how this worked out and what I learned. This is an entry about how to get to God not how I figured it out or was led to figure it out.
Let me take a break here as my family is getting up and I have to concern myself with waffles, finding socks and encouraging children to "have a happy day". More later.