How does a world class pianist get to where they are in their trade? Are they born that way? Do they just sit down at the piano and start playing complex symphonies? The answer is no. Anyone who is a professional or highly skilled at something all started at the same point...not knowing anything. This concept has held true for me in my life. I went to school for the first 21 years of my life. I know a lot more now than when I started. But in every subject, I had to undergo the same process to gain knowledge in a subject. That process basically consisted of studying, asking questions, and learning from experience.
For some reason, I looked at learning about God differently than learning about other things. Although I consider myself to be fairly simple, I am actually a pretty curious fellow who likes to learn new things. This could explain why I have books on everything from tying knots to carving twigs! Tragically, I can still only tie one kind of knot and cannot carve a twig any better than a beaver. What I began to realize was that the reason I never gained any knowledge in these subjects was because I didn't study the topics and gain experience by actually practicing what I was trying to accomplish. This was the same with my walk with God.
I think for the longest time, I was at a stand still in my relationship with Him. I knew who God was and was good about praying, but I never got much past that. I often got frustrated and discouraged because I didn't have the kind of faith that I often saw in other Godly people. I couldn't relate to what they were saying or understand some of the things they discussed. I guess the problem was that I felt I would learn everything I needed to know about God either from church or that "I would just feel it" in my soul or something to that effect. Fortunately for me, God finally got across to me that I needed to pursue Him and learn about Him just like I would any other topic....STUDY! As I mentioned in my last post, I began to study God's word with a renewed intensity and by using different methods. What I found was that the more I learned about God, the more I wanted to know. It was through the study of His word through the bible and the other resources I listed in my last post that I finally began to deepen my relationship with Him. I now truly have a passion for learning about God and what he expects of me. Another change I noticed as I sought God more often was a change in my sense of priority.
It's funny how the more you learn about God (which is the only thing that truly matters), the less important once so-called "important" things become. The prime example of this in my life involves Texas Tech football. Anybody who knows me knows I love the Red Raiders...(Git Your Guns Up!!). In fact, every 9 out of 10 clothing items I own has a double T on it. Tech used to be my passion. It was what I lived for. I would spend close to an hour a day (sometimes more...much more) learning about the team on the internet, listening to them on the radio, or going to practices and games. I could tell you every players life story and what size shoe they wore. I used to live and die by the outcomes of the games. Then things began to change. Don't get me wrong...I still love the Raiders, but God has helped me put them into perspective. Now, instead of spending and hour a day reading Texas Tech sports information, I spend it reading the bible, or talking with my wife about God-related thoughts I have been having. I still do read about TTU, but it most always is after I have spent time in the word and it's nowhere near the extent it used to be. I realize that Texas Tech football is still fun to watch and support, but it is just a game and an earthly University that will some day no longer exist.
What will exist is God, His Word, and the works of His people. I realize that I need to continue shifting my thoughts and efforts from pursuing my earthly passions all the time ( although I feel that hobbies are great...to an extent ) to pursuing Godly passions and causes. I trust that as my faith grows and I become closer to Him, my passions will begin to align with His. At least for now I know that I can look to bible to see what my passions "should be", and then work on pursuing them. In time, I will begin to see the world more as God sees it, and will want to honor Him by seeking and by serving Him on earth. Through God's blessing, I can already feel changes within me.
One are that has changed is how I view the world and other people. Along with the changes in my priorities listed above, I have noticed a difference in how I view others. It's amazing how someone who once seemed "annoying" when I wasn't connecting with God can now seem "unique and significant" simply because I now know that they are one of God's creations and that He loves them just as much as me. Now, instead of judging someone else for a problem that was "their own fault", I often feel sympathy for them because I know they are fallen humans just like me who are struggling in this world. More times than not, I see the pain of others that is simply caused by them trying to control their own lives instead of allowing God to be their lord. I find myself truly wishing they could know God and see what He has to offer them. I know as I Christian it is part of my job to introduce them to God and share with them what He can do, however, I am still human and struggle with doing this on a consistent basis ( I would value prayers of encouragement ). Anyways, I am rambling again, I hope that you might have taken something from all this. If nothing else, seek God daily as much as you can, try to do what He says in the bible, and your life will be changed for the better!