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A Personal Relationship with God?

By JR ~

From the very start of my "Christian Life," over 50 years ago, I have heard the question; "Do you have a personal relationship with God?" referred to many times. For years I never really considered the depth of that question . . . A Personal Relationship? Then I began to realize that frankly "No, I don't have a personal relationship with God," at least not the way I define "personal relation-ship."

Consider a close personal friend of your own. What do you know about that person? You know plenty if indeed they are a true personal friend. You discuss your problems with them on occassion, most likely. They give you their opinion about troubling issues in your life and you do the same for them. You laugh and sometimes cry with them. You enjoy spending time together because of the similarities and differences you both have and your willingness to communicate with eachother about them.You know you are cared for by them as they know they are cared for by you. You can see them, talk to them, hear them, and touch them. These are but a few ways you could probably describe your relationship with a personal friend.

So, simply put, Do I have a personal relationship with God? Is He a personal friend of mine? Can I see Him, hear Him, reason with Him . . . touch Him? Does He cry with me when I am hurt? Does He laugh with me when I am happy? . . . well? . . . . No. In fact I have never had one single experience in all the decades of my Christian Life inwhich I can say that I have experienced a personal encounter with God!

I believe I have listened to myself say things inwardly that I think God would say to me were He to say them. I can imagine how He might cry or laugh with me were He there to do so. I can even ponder how He looks, how His voice would sound if I could hear it. But the reality of the matter is that none of these things have ever happened to me . . . God has never revealed Himself to me in any of these ways . . . only by way of my imagination. I have always had an imaginary friendship with God which is no personal friendship or relationship at all. Sad. Nothing would have pleased me more and I also must add that there have been few things in life that have been a greater dissapointment.

There is nothing nor has there ever been anything personal" about the diety our ancestors brought into fictious reality in their efforts to find meaning and purpose for their own lives. They set God up for failure and the charlatans of the faith expose the human-like imperfections of this fictious being.

I wish God were personal . . . I really do.