Personally, I am convinced that I am “only scratching the surface” when it comes to knowing God and experiencing the present reality of His Kingdom. It is hard when everyone seems to be experiencing something and you are not. I had a lot of that feeling when I ventured into the Pentecostal world. When everyone appears to get “slain” and nothing happens to you, you can feel a little out of place. I have since learned that many simply conform to what appears to be happening to others. Someone might call it “faking” but having been there myself, I am a lot more merciful! When one looks at the “fruit” obviously a lot of these people have it down!
On the other hand, when I do experience something tangible of God, it is so powerful to me that I am sure it must be the main event! There is this big pull to say that my experience is the one to expect if you know God. If you buy my theology, you may become frustrated and despair of knowing God if you don’t have the same experience. My theology then drives you away rather than encouraging you.
I think we should never be encouraged to neglect who God made us to be! I think that our spirituality easily forgets how personal and intimate God is. I just wish we could all be more honest about what we actually experience … Yes, there are some general similarities about the spiritual life, but most of it is very personal and unique. Someone with ADD is not going to be a good contemplative for example. We humans have such a bent to want to ‘fix’ everyone according to our experiences. My creativity, such as it is, and who I “am” comes from my thinking style, my ability to skip around and see things from different directions. That’s not something I want to lose. It seems to be a negative quality only in regards to how some (maybe most?) people see spirituality.
Many of us see God in a little box. Maybe the key is learning to see God everywhere …