Sunday night I got home from a weekend youth conference with a gaggle of teenagers. While it was a lot of fun I spent those 72 hours running on merely caffeine and grace. Everything over the weekend leads to Saturday night. There is rocking worship music, talks, time for praise/prayer, and an opportunity for young people give their lives to the Lord.
As I was listening to the first talk for Saturday evening, I began to reflect upon my own spiritual journey over the last 8-10 years. I started thinking how for a long time I lived my faith life to living from retreat high to the next. Instead of daily prayer and discipline, I lived for the next spiritual thing to keep my faith going.
It was a time in my life when I lived off the emotional highs, those moments of closeness to God at a retreat or someone praying over me at a conference. I thought if I balled my eyes out or "felt" really close to God during worship it basically translated to having a good relationship with him. Deep down, I knew that this was not how it was supposed to be, it was supposed to be something richer and lasting.
Upon my arrival back home after said religious event, I would come home with grand plans and lots of excitement. For the following week afterwards, I would read my Bible more and pray more regularly. However, two weeks later all my grand desires and "holy-good-spiritual" feelings would be gone. I would get frustrated and resentful at God. Basically, I was a spiritual hot mess.
Slowly I matured and began to see walking with the Lord is not about the next best retreat around the conference. It is about mundane faithfulness with Him, day in and day out. It is about seeking His will and coming to daily prayer whether I "feel" like it or not. Constantly waiting around or looking for the next best thing will leave one feeling restless and unappreciative, I know I sensed that within myself as I look back on those years.
Why is this lesson so difficult to learn? I don't honestly know. But part of me thinks that when a person comes to faith they become fired up, passionate, and excited. In eagerness to grow in faith, perhaps they want to soak everything up like a sponge. Over time, the spiritual life becomes more about doing instead of just being.
I'm certainly not perfect at the "being" with God, but I am better at it than I was five years ago.
How and where have you struggled in your walk with the Lord? Would you identify yourself as a "former retreat junkie"? Why or why not?