From both my experience and my observation, there seems to two ways to have faith in God. One is a kind of faith in theory, and the other is a faith of life. One enjoys reading about faith. The other wants to taste it, touch it, laugh and cry with it. One wants to enforce the information about the gospel upon the world. The other just wants to participate in the fruit of the gospel while roaming whatever corner of the world they find themselves in.
I have lived them both kinds of faith, and I'm thankful I'm more interested in the latter than the former these days. In both versions of faith, I was genuine in my claims and belief in God, but while the first way was more about clinging to intellectual knowledge, to the written account of faith, to words on paper, to ideas and ideologies -- the better way is largely about letting go of obsessing over these things, in order to embrace God in another way . . . that being, in human interaction, in mystery, in uncertainty; to embrace faith in the practice of living life directed by the inner compass of love.
I always believed in a loving God, and would say I believed this to be the central pillar of the gospel in both versions of faith. But there is still a fundamental difference. For me, when the gospel of God's love was valued in my head knowledge, it was mainly useful for proving how much I knew about God and the Scriptures that talk of him. But when the gospel truly found a place in my heart, it was then I lost motivation to merely discuss the information I knew about God; instead, I became inspired by the gospel freedom to step outside, into the world around me, and embrace life radically, accept everyone I met as a gift from God, and actively take hold of the opportunity and privilege of uniting my heart with the hearts of others.
I let go of my religious desire to share information about God so that I could refocus on taking hold of God himself. For God is life, right? And he is only truly experienced when we walk away from our religious obsession with information and start walking by faith in the real world around us; when we start letting that love and grace we know of in our heads move into our hearts, and ultimately allow it to become our hands and feet in our everyday life.
I've come to realize that when I embrace life, along with it I embrace God, for God is Life. He's written about in many books and blogs, but to experience him, and not just study him, I needed to engage in life with enthusiasm, with willingness to connect with family, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike, and with my heart not on auto pilot, but rather awake, engaged and fully alive.
This perspective has changed me. It's allowed me to embrace the divine drifting of faith, instead of trying to build my own concrete highway.
Through this transformation in perspective I've learned that there's nothing more divine then connecting with another person without an agenda; when I do so just for the joy of it, just because it's a natural part of being human. Just because my heart desires to interact with another heart.
You see, I've long given up on the concept of being a salesman for God. I am, however, happy to be an adventurer in life for him. In fact, I think that's the only real way to truly experience God, both for myself and for others who I am privileged to connect with.
People are wonderful. All kinds of people. When I finally got to know them; when I let myself simply 'be' in their presence, and let them be exactly who they are; when I let my heart connect to theirs, and valued their thoughts and perspectives; when I let go of preconceived expectations and let the moment be perfect just as it is; when I stopped allowing my head-knowledge of faith to create divisions in my mind and instead allowed my heart-experience of faith to bring unity, that's when I started to understand that when we allow ourselves to be one with another (for on the deepest level of existence that is truly what we are) it is then, in those moments, that God is tangibly experienced; for it is in the moments we are in harmony with another person, when we find that authentic connection, that God's presence is felt most powerfully.
You can connect with Mick and read more of his writing on his facebook page.