“We as Christians are much more comfortable with theology than with experience.” Perhaps this is a way of saying that it is easier for most Christians to talk about God than to talk to God! Why? I think the answer to that question is that we have difficulty talking to and sharing our deepest thoughts with someone we don’t know! And many who profess themselves “believers” have never had a personal encounter with God. I think that Richard Rohr’s premise in his book Falling Upward, is “right on”. He suggests, as I understand him, that we really do not come to know God until we experience God in a direct and personal way and that way is usually the result of a traumatic experience which causes us to realize we have no control over what has happened and cry out to God in our pain. That experience may be many different things,according to Rohr, but often is the loss of a loved one, a spouse or a child. It is then that we feel God’s presence and strength within us when we cry out for help, and it is then that we come to know our God in a personal-relationship kind of way. At those times, God is not an idea or a theology or a theory—God is a person who gives us strength to get through the trial we face and we can feel that strength working in our lives. It is our cry—“God, I can’t get through this without you!” that leads us to the experience that we can come to God as a person and have a relationship as we talk TO God, not just ABOUT God.
To say we love God and not spend any time with God is to not be honest with ourselves. Those we love we spend time with. When we are in love with another person that person is the most important person in the world to us and we want to spend as much time as we can with that person. One hour on Sunday, never reading the Word of God, and never praying says volumes about our lack of love for God, regardless of what we might profess.
This is what the Psalmist sings about in Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. ……..Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.”