A Week Without God

    I grew up in a church; a mainline church.  God was a constant in my life from the perspective that I heard Bible stories, sang songs, and believed 100% that God existed.  But all of that changed when my mother left my father, and at the same time, left the church.  The timing was very bad.  I was an adolescent. God started to move  from the front of my mind, to the back, and finally, as far as my mind was concerned, He didn't exist at all. For literally years, I never whispered a prayer or thought a thought about Him.
  All of that changed when my mother was saved and started talking about the Lord.  Eventually, I followed in her footsteps and once again God became real.  In fact, for over 30 years, God has been so real that a day hasn't gone by that I haven't prayed a prayer, sung a song, read scripture, listened to a sermon, and/or done something in His name.
  Many times, when I'm around unsaved people I marvel in the fact that they have been able to get by "without God" for 20, 30 , 40, or even 80 years.  How is that possible?  How do you do life that way?  It is a mystery to me.
  I am not very much about ritual when it comes to praying.  Nothing wrong with that if you are, but my random global style of living touches everything.  So I'm more of a pray without ceasing kind of person.  Honestly, it is not unusual for me to eat breakfast and lunch without whispering a prayer.  Dinner, with all of the family present is different, but may I say, praying in this obligatory way is not particularly meaningful to me.  That is not to say I don't thank God for food.  But do you know when it probably happens most often?  It's a common occurrence when I'm washing dishes.  Do you know why?  Because I often think, I wouldn't be washing these dishes if we didn't have food and so I need to be thankful, rather than complain about the constant stream of dishwashing.
   I'm not one to necessarily pray before bed, either.  I'm not saying that I never do, I'm just saying going to bed doesn't necessarily trigger prayer.  Let me ask you something, " If you are talking with someone all day, do you have to make some kind of production out of those last few moments before you drift off to sleep? " Again, if that is your style, more power to you.
   I do not see prayer as work.  It is not something I "have" to do, but rather want to do.  I count it an honor and a privilege to pray.  I find it exciting that I can touch people all around the world because of it.  Through prayer, I can influence the spread of the gospel, support missionaries, and address things that no amount of money or political influence could touch.
  Then there is reading.  No problem.  Well yes, problem, because I like to spend too much time reading, instead of say, cleaning. I don't recall having any particular problems learning to read.  I can't honestly remember a time when I didn't like to read.  No one has had to encourage me to do so. But until recently, I honestly discounted the mental effort needed for both reading and praying.
  God is spirit.  It is our spirit that connects with Him.  But there is no getting around the fact that we also connect with our souls (mind, will, and emotion), and when our soul is hindered by something, the spirit connection is going to suffer. I found out just how much a month ago when I had brain surgery.
  I had my surgery on a Monday morning.  I left the hospital on Thursday around lunch.  During those days in the hospital, I ate meals, had visits from my husband, slept, and talked to the nurses.  I also did some walking; at first with a walker.  I can remember some of the meals I ate.  I remember an especially kind CNA and a conversation with a nurse who also had brain surgery.  But honestly, it seems like the day I had surgery and the day I went home did not have any days between them.
  What's even weirder than that is , to my recollection, I did not utter a single prayer or really have any God consciousness other than the fact that I gave Him the credit everytime someone was amazed at how well I was doing.  How can that be?  I don't know.
  When I came home from the hospital, reading held no appeal, and praying was still too much of an effort.  Remember up to this point, I didn't think prayer was work.  In other words, I spent a week without God.  Oh, don't misunderstand, He didn't leave me.  He was there every single second, as always.  Looking back, I find this just as much of a mystery as the people who live as if God doesn't exist.  Where was I?  I mean the real me?  I don't know.  I only know that "when I came to my senses" it was like clawing my way out of a deep, dark hole.
   The reason I share this with is is because I want to say, "Don't underestimate the power of your mind in regards to the connection you have with the Lord."  If you find yourself in a situation such as I did, God certainly isn't going to hold it against you.  He's not that kind of a God.  Nevertheless, most of us will rarely, if ever, find ourselves in the situation I just described.  So, when you have "a week without God", what's your excuse?


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