More on Foundational Experiences

Sun peeking through.

I mentioned that I’d be writing a short series on discernment for the duration of this week, but we’ve gotten to the end of the week and I’m realizing there are a few more thoughts I’d like us to consider together on this subject. So I’ve decided to extend the discernment series a bit longer into next week. I hope that’s okay with you! 

Accordingly, today I’d like to revisit the ideas shared yesterday about our foundational experiences of God

I realized after writing that post that in asking you to consider your foundational experiences of God, those experiences may not have been positive. Perhaps you came into the faith without realizing fully what that meant. Perhaps you were raised in a church or a home where your understanding of faith was twisted into a pretzel and all that resulted was fear and confusion and pain. 

What we might term “foundational experiences of God” may be foundational indeed — but they may have done more harm than good, and now we’re left to pick up the pieces.

So today I’d like to invite you to consider your foundational experiences of God in a slightly different, more focused light. 

Let’s recall those moments in life when you just knew it was God. Perhaps it was a moment when the truth you’d learned about God’s love or truth or forgiveness or grace somehow clicked and became real for you, not just head knowledge anymore. Or perhaps it was a moment when you knew God intervened in circumstances because there was just no other possible explanation. Or perhaps it was as simple as a felt presence surrounding you or following you around or showing up at occasionally odd moments, and you just knew it was God somehow.

These are foundational experiences of God, too. They’re the foundational experiences of God that teach us, truly, who God is to us — how he intervenes in our lives and relates himself to us. 

This is the kind of foundational experience Jesus had in those baptismal waters when he heard that voice from heaven speaking his beloved sonship over him. He knew it was God. He knew it was truth. It was not twisted or confused in any way.

So, what about you?

What are those foundational experiences of God in your own life? What do they, upon considering them, speak to you about God? How did he relate himself to you in those moments? What did he communicate about himself to you?