If you ask high schoolers if they believe in Santa, the typical answers are “Not really …”, “No”, and sometimes “Of course!”. However, ask a young elementary child if they believe in Santa, they’ll usually say yes, and then tell you everything about Santa and all the presents he’s brought to them. The high schoolers who reply yes are usually joking, and if not, they do know that Santa isn’t real. He’s a character people talk about, not a person to talk to. Sometimes, I think we Christians become like that. God becomes a figure that we talk a lot about, but we rarely talk to. We preach that everyone should have a personal relationship with Him, but then never get the real in depth conversations. We’re talking to a God that we’re not sure is really there, just like those highschool “believers” of Santa know that he’s not really real.
What made me wonder about all of this is a letter I wrote on December 17. This Christmas season, our church is encouraging every person to write a letter to God or just expressing thoughts. I wrote a letter and posted it in our mailbox. What else was I going to do with it? The second part of the letter writing is that my pastor said he might pick a few letters to read outloud to the congregation. Guess who got a call from the pastor today. There is nothing special with my letter; it was from me to God and just about my life. But profoundly written? That can’t be right; it’s a simple letter. What I think is special about it is that I wrote it to God, and in my writing it was clear that I believe in God. I believe He is truly with us and we can freely speak with Him. That confidence and comfortableness in God is what made my writing so captivating. This example is not to praise my writing, but to notice that a sincere letter written in confidence and comfortableness to God is special because it is rare.
I say that my letter had confidence and comfortableness with God. Confidence that God is real is obvious, but what do I mean by comfortable? If you wrote a letter to God, would you start with “Dear God” or would you write “Hey God, it’s me”. My letter was structured like the latter as if I was writing to my best friend. We may have not talked in a while, but we know our relationship hasn’t changed. Being comfortable with God is realizing one’s faults and recognizing that God is constantly trying to help us. We’re comfortable that He will do the right thing. He’s been waiting for us, and we finally found time or humbled ourselves to catch up.
Let’s get back to believing in God. As mentioned before, when asked if they believe in Santa, a small child will often reply “yes!” and enthusiastically convince you that they truly do believe in Santa. We Christians sometimes say we wish we had the faith of a little child. Untouched with doubt and questioning. Innocent. Trusting. We believe that once we mature and “grow-up”, we can’t have that child-like faith. The main feature of child-like faith is that they believe God is truly and completely real. We can doubt and question, but we must doubt a real God, we must question someone whom we know can and will answer back. If ask questions to someone we’re not sure is real, do we have any true hope that we will get answers? Is it possible to have any faith when we’re not sure if we have a strong foundation or not?
There are a lot of questions here, some I can’t answer, some just rhetorical. But to get that child-like faith, that belief that God is real, we have to interact with Him. Write a letter. Sit and actually talk. Hold a concert for just Him. Sending a prayer into the air isn’t enough. Just like strengthening a relationship with a friend, we need to physically interact with God. The way I discovered if I truly believe that God is a real, living being is by writing Him a letter. I encourage you to do the same. Do you believe in God?