Dark nights of the soul… we all have them, those moments in your pilgrimage toward God when you question your faith; moments when you find yourself asking questions like do I still believe? I have moments like this. But I don’t think in reality that it is a question of whether I believe in God or not, because I think I always will. As I said I cannot look around me at the wonder of creation and question (let alone deny) the existence of a ‘creator of the heavens and earth’. I think my ‘dark night of the soul’ that I’m experiencing at the moment is the need to feel the very real presence of God in and around me. However, when I look around me I see spiritual (let alone religous) apathy. And what’s more, I am failing more and more to be spiritually nourished in my own parish. Perhaps this says more about me than the parish community. Furthermore, I don’t just experience this apathy in my life in the parish, but also in my life as the programmes coordinator of a spirituality centre. I’m struggling to find ways to get people to show an interest in their spiritual development. Perhaps they don’t need it, perhaps they get it from somewhere else other than what we offer, perhaps people are just too tired and too busy. Whatever the reason it gets me down to think that myself and the people facilitating the various spirituality programs go to a lot of effort to make these opportunities available but the uptake of the offering is often small, if at all.

As I said, I don’t think this is so much as a problem for others as it is for me. What I mean is, when I first started attending church I fell in love with God. For me, being at chuch meant being in God’s house in much the same way as one wants to be in the house of the person they are dating or are in love with. What’s more, I wanted everyone to know about the love of God that I experienced, and that they could experience it to. Church services were a place where we come together to celebrate our love of God. We would sing praises and thanksgiving to God as we would sing love songs to a lover. The preaching was always like an invitation to enter into a loving relationship with the God who loves us, it was real and personal and it touched right to the very core of my heart. I could feel the presence of God in and around me. In the people, the songs of praise, the preaching and just about everything around me said here I am. I am with you.

As I said I wanted everyone to experience this great love of God. God, for me, offered so much life and the thought that I could have this life for all eternity was nothing less than excstatic. So I’ve always wanted to share my experience of God with others. I want for others what I experienced, the overflowing love of God in and through me.

However, my world today seems like this passion is dying out. I feel as though I am trying to give this love to a world that does not want it. I feel a little bit rejected by a world who rejects my lover. I want so much to tell them about my lover but they don’t seem to be interested. They are too busy, too egocentric, too materialistic, too all embracing. I find Christianity to have become so watered down, so that the world can no longer see just how much of a gift it is that God gives, just how much God’s love is for us, just how much by embracing the love of the lover that we can have life eternal. The world does not see the relevance for God because the world has taken the reality of God’s love and blessing and replaced it with a belief in their golden calves.

So as I said, perhaps my dark night of the soul is a need to return to a time when I could feel God around me in worship, in relationships and in the people around me. But as I cannot control those things perhaps I need to find new ways to experience that same excstatic love once again in my life with God.

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