The truth is, church is not where I find God right now. I haven’t found God there in a long, long time.
I grew up in church. My faith and church were congruent for many years. In some ways my faith was church. I didn’t know how to find God without it. My faith was in God and God was in church. And that worked for me. And there was peace.
But the more my faith developed and the further into my life story I lived, the less congruent faith and church became. For me.
Maybe the system is broken. Maybe I am broken. Probably it’s a little of both.
I wrestled with this for years, confounded by a distance that felt out of my control. My box told me that if I didn’t have church then I couldn’t have God.
So I stayed and I was uncomfortable and I ignored the discomfort.
Then for awhile I left. I left church and I left God, since I couldn’t have one without the other. And I tried to make it work without either.
This took me to some of the darkest places I have ever been. And I learned that a life without a Light is not one I am capable of walking through.
I’ve been to church since then. Lots of times. But that is not where I find God. Not right now anyway.
When you are searching for something you need that you once found in a place you now no longer can find it, things can get scary for awhile. You have to establish new ways of finding it. New is scary. New is harder.
But sometimes harder is necessary. Sometimes harder is even better.
So how do you find God when you can’t find God in church?
Today I find God in silence. And in solitude. I find God in music. I find God in the woods and in the sunset. I find God by writing.
For me, God is in dynamic friendship and in my childrens’ faces. I find God in the books that I read.
I feel God every time I take a long walk.
I sense God’s presence in my dreams and in the changing of the seasons. I see God on the trail and I hear God in the voice of those who love me well.
God is not the box. God is so much bigger than the box. Way too big to fit inside of it.
Some of us can sit in church and see God. Truth is, I’ve spent almost a third of my life envying those who can.
But if you are like me, if you are one who can’t, keep looking.
God can still be found.