Brook and I caught a late midnight showing of Xmen 2 last night over at the Chesterfield. We had an hour or so to kill over at the Steak and Shake before it started. One of the things that we talked about, was the fact that our belief structure is mostly based on hearsay. Christians usually do not choose Christianity over some other religion.
Brook made a comment, something to the effect "The hardest thing to deal with in Christianity is the silence." I couldn't agree more. Job may have been reamed out by God for his presumption, but at least he was acknowledged. I think I begin to understand the psychology of negative attention more and more. Love me or hate me, but don't dismiss me.
I didn't notice the silence earlier in my Christianity, but it is at times now, nearly overwhelming. I can see what draws people to make connections, where there perhaps are none, in order get a sense of the prescence of God. If I believe that God arranged for me to get that job, or meet that person, then he is paying attention. He notices me. And, we have neatly come up with a safe explanation for the things that happen which we don't like. God is saying no, or he is teaching us something. If I get the job, it was the work of the Lord. If I don't get it, well, God just has other things in mind. The important piece though is that I am on his mind and he notices me.
I am not sure where this leaves me. The silence gets worse, not better. I remember in the movie, "Vampires" there was a Catholic priest who was going to exchange the life of some innocents for his eternal mortal life. When asked how he could do this, he replied " I have spent my whole life in the service of the church... I have never seen a miracle, never heard a voice, never had a vision. I am now near the end of my life, and the thought of death terrifies me."
I understand some of his sentiments. In my earlier years of Christianity, Jesus was coming back soon. Heck, for a while there, I almost thought college might be a waste of time since none of us were going to be here anyway. I didn't experience anything supernatural in my life, but I simply figured I wasn't experienced enough yet.. it would come.
However, here I am... twenty years of Christianity later - and I have never seen a miracle, never heard a voice, never had a vision. A few years ago, it occured to me that I may go through my whole life and never experience the voice of God. Beyond that, I may just be a cog in the wheel, or worse yet - maybe part of no plan whatsoever.
How then do I live out Christianity in light of these new perspectives? I am not sure. But the silence is deafining.