Words by Scott Axtmann
I remember, as a child, thinking how there must be a unique purpose for my life. While I thought the Big Bang theory was pretty cool, it never really sat well with me that I was just the result of a random cosmic explosion. I remember thinking that there must be some sort of intelligent designer in the sky. Someone who made me and had some particular reason for making me. As I grew older this craving deepened. I would look at the clouds or the stars and find my heart yearning to know the unknown. It never occurred to me to try to talk to whoever might be out there. Prayer seemed weird: like a crazy person, talking to himself.
Now, almost thirty years later, conversation with God has become as natural as breathing. This morning, as the rain poured down outside my window, I sat writing prayers to God for hours, as if inside an invisible bubble of peace . I don’t always have the luxury of extended time to pray but it is my daily practice to venture out into the heart of God. I talk to God about everything and, it may sound strange to some, but he speaks to my heart. Some have called this two-way conversation with the Divine the “beautiful exchange”. It has become my life.
I won’t get into my whole story but there did come a turning point when I found God. Or maybe I should say he found me. I was walking down a lonely city street about midnight having just been thrown out of a college party. I was at a point of thinking I just can’t live like this anymore. I was yearning for a new life. The next thing I knew I was on the ground just weeping my eyes out and the presence of God’s love flooded my whole being. Guilt was lifted. The darkness in my heart was replaced with light. I found myself suddenly talking to God like he was my closest friend. As someone once described it, “it was like waking up from the longest dream”. Everything felt new. Colors were more vivid. Food tasted better. My whole countenance visibly changed. I was new.
Reading is useful but the most important thing is to go directly to God and just ask him to reveal himself.
What I wish someone had told me during those years of feeling so far from God is this. There are a lot of religions out there. There are countless spiritual opinions. There are more books about God and philosophy and religion than you could ever read even if you had 1000 lifetimes. Reading is useful but the most important thing is to go directly to God and just ask him to reveal himself. You say, “How do I know God is there? How do I know what to say? Maybe my Creator doesn’t really want to hear from me!” Okay. Yes, good and fair questions. I know it may feel a little crazy - don’t tell anyone you are doing it if you don’t want to - but just call out to God and tell him that you want to know who he is and you want to live the way he wants you to live. And watch what happens.
Scott grew up in Western Massachusetts and came to the faith at the age of 21. As the outcome of his transformed life, he founded and now Pastors Renaissance Church and CityLove.