There are those in the “Christian” world that would say that a search for God is one of intellectual pursuit. That the quest to know God is a logical, progressive search for facts and truth with a capital “T.” They site proofs of the resurrection, the fine tuning of the universe, inerrancy of the Bible, and lots of very useful philosophical and theological arguments for the existence of God and the importance of a relationship with God. These things are all very good and useful, but I think they miss an important point for most people on a quest for a more meaningful spiritual life, that this search is usually one of the heart. It is more of a calling from beyond, a haunting, a beckoning to a place we’ve never been, even a place of madness, and loss of control, a feeling that we are walking off of our map to a place we’re not even sure exists.
I was coming home from school, carrying my gear in from the car. I was just in that place mentally where I was doing something so totally routine that I was able to let my mind wander while my body did the necessary things that need to be done. And then it happened, I looked down at my hand as it reached to unlock the door of the house, and for the first time ever I saw my hand, and by extension my whole body, as a physical thing that had a spiritual dimension, a soul. At that moment I realized I was a spiritual being inside of a physical thing. It was simply a moment of heart insight, a realization. And by the time I had reached the end of the hallway and turned to open the door of my room, I just “knew” there was a God.
Then the questions came. What am I? What does it mean to be alive? Why am I here? Why am I what I am, and not something else? How did I get here? Is there a purpose for my being here? Is this life I have just an accident?
I began to read on the subject of the soul. I read psychology, philosophy, and anything else I could get my hands on at the time. But I had a problem. My heart had already figured out what my mind could not comprehend. I had gone as far as I could logically. Yes, there is a God. Yes, it’s a He and not an It. And so, at the end of the hallway, I asked my first question to God: “Are you there?”