There are a lot of people that believe in God. A lot of these people go to church and a lot of them don’t. There a lot of people that went to church when they lived with their parents and stopped when they moved out. There are also a lot of people who never went to church but they heard about God from a friend or from Oprah.
There are a lot people that believe in God.
There are a lot of people that go to church and perform rituals. A lot of these people perform rituals and have no idea why. Plenty of people eat crackers and drink wine. A lot of these people do it because everyone else at church is doing it, not because it’s helping them, in particular, to grow a significant relationship with the Lord.
A lot of people go to confession. A lot of people leave confession and go right back to the same sins (if they ever confessed honestly to begin with). A lot of people say Hail Marys or some other kind of prayer; not because it’s helping them, in particular, to grow close to God, rather because it is part of a tradition and it’s customary.
There are a lot of people that believe in God.
How many people have a really close relationship with God? How many people always rest assured that things are fine because they know, deep down without a doubt, that the Lord has their back?
Now I sell books at churches and church-schools so I’m not supposed to cause any disruption for the way churches practice religion. And I never do want to throw anyone off track that has a good system developed for how they communicate with God.
But here’s my opinion; rituals and customs don’t bring people closer to God. They can help to bring someone closer to God, but in and of themselves; they don’t do a thing.
Developing a relationship with God is so much more than repeating any combination of words. Saying the Lords Prayer, to many people, is little more than reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. They spout out the words without any real thought to what they are saying.
You can say one-thousand Hail Mary’s and it won’t help you one bit until you sincerely open your heart to God and invite Him into your life to stay. You can drink wine and eat bread every time they offer it at church. But if you don’t go home afterwards and develop the ability to talk to the Lord like friends (or like a child to its father) then that wine hasn’t provided you with any spiritual good.
Again, if you are into some type of ritual to offer respect to the Lord in whatever fashion, I’m not against it. Rituals do have their meanings, and when performed with the right mindset they can offer fulfillment.
But for people who don’t go to churches or don’t understand which saint to pray to depending on the situation; never fear. Relationships with the Lord can be easy to build and you don’t even really need an instruction manual. There are only a few easy steps in my simplistic (yet worthwhile) approach. And you probably won’t even need to write them down to remember them.
Step 1: Literally and figuratively speaking get down on your knees and ask God to fill up your spirit with Him. He is the world. He is the air you’re breathing. Contemplate that. Thank Him for that.
Step 2: Tell God that you want your soul combined with Him in every fashion. Tell God that you are His for the taking; whatever He asks you’ll do. Tell Him you want to be part of His team and a positive force of energy in the universe.
Step 3: Tell God you make mistakes; LOTS of them (He’ll understand, I promise). Tell Him you need help overcoming the fact that you are just a human and you are prone to error (He’ll understand that too).
Step 4: Follow steps one through three and be sincere in every moment.
Step 5: When you’ve accomplished the first four steps and you’re ready for reinforcement to keep you headed in the right direction then it’s time to open up the Bible. It doesn’t really matter where you open it to because nine times out of ten you’ll flip to a page, and if you’re in the right frame of mind and hungry for spiritual growth, you’ll have flipped to a page that will have something meaningful for you on that day. The Bible’s useful like that and the Lord knows how to feed us when we’re hungry.
Ask and ye shall receive…
And if you forget my simple steps, don’t worry, you can come back and read this again until you get a hang of it.
But this note is already long enough that my version of spirituality is getting complex. Just love people, love God and ask Him to keep loving you back.
If you do that, you’re going to be alright. You’ll get close to God.
From my heart to yours,