The A of Q&A

Wednesday, I gave commenters the opportunity to ask questions that I would respond to today.

Floyd of But By The Grace of God asked:

What is the biggest event to happen in your life that brought you closer to God or set you on the path to where you are now?

Great question!  Now can you define "event"?  Sometimes a single day or moment impacts us forever.  Sometimes it is a certain experience that impacts us, but this experience was spread out over the course of a period of time.

My time spent serving at and being ministered to at my old church in West LA was one of these types of experiences.  It was the first church experience that I could really say was "mine."  I experienced what it was like to live in close community with other believers, what the "one anothers" were, and what they looked like.  I was able to open up to others: learn to trust and be trusted, learn to love and be loved.

This experience brought me closer to God by bringing me closer to the people in His church.  The Holy Spirit resides in each person, and when multiple people come together to minister to each other, the Holy Spirit does the ministering.  Church community is a great and beautiful thing because when one ministers to another within the church, it is an expression of the presence of God Himself.

As to other, more singular discrete events that brought me closer to God, I have to attribute a lot of spiritual growth to an unlikely combination of books.  The first was John Piper's Desiring God, which I read in the end of high school.  The second was Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz, which I read as a freshman in college.

Although they are vastly different in authorship, tone, and content, these two books helped me see and understand a sort resides in the Christian faith.  I learned that Christianity was a beautiful and intricate thing, and that I could find joy in serving God and marveling at the complexity and grandeur of His plan for mankind.  I learned to be baffled and amazed.  I learned awe and zeal.  It is not that these things were previously lacking in my faith, but these books definitely developed those responses in me in a way that has impacted the way I interact with and think about God.

How about you?  What event(s) brought you closer to God?  Answer in the comments!