Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I had a point in my life that I would consider my 'spiritual peak', it was when I felt the closest to God, and it wasn't just emotion, it was because the fruits of the spirit were evident in my life. I have had the privilege of seeing God work in other people's lives through my own and I say that with full credit to God.
So, naturally, my life has since been trying to get back to that point. I tried to mimic everything that was 'new' or 'different' at that point of my life to get that point of my life back and I failed.
I don't know the exact dates but so you can get an idea it was 2007 around March-November. A lot of things happened in my life that I have never experienced before then so I thought I needed to get back to those things, maybe they were the result in such a great spiritual life?
In that time period I was touring more than I have before. In touring you don't have traditional church because the van or bus is moving during a church's normal hours. So I missed months of church. But I found a community of Christians that were available 24/7 to talk about anything. That, to me, is church. I have since hung out with those same guys, in the same ways, but I realized it wasn't what got me close to God, but it is what maintained my relationship with God. I think that is the point of Church and community is to maintain and encourage your relationship with God, it won't and will never be your relationship with God.
After that cluster of tours, I worked on the set of my first feature film, which has been a dream of mine since I was 8. This was something I felt like God made very clear to me that I would do for my ministry and work for a long time. So you can imagine there were more than just stars in my eyes when I walked onto the set, I felt like I was finally doing what God has put on my heart and what I have been striving for since He has. There was something spiritual about that. So I tried to get on another film set since and I have. Though great, it wasn't what I needed to get back to my closeness with God.
On the movie set I met my first girlfriend. I am such a verbal processor that having a companion in my life to work out my faith and thoughts is and still is very important to me. I learn twenty times more about my God and my faith when I can bounce ideas off someone, especially if that person is consistent in my life. So I know that, in my case, it is not good to be alone. So I did think that my relationship with God would improve if I just had a good Christian girl back in my life. So I sought that out and realized, though helpful, it wasn't the main thing I have been missing.
On the off hours of working on the movie set, I lived in a house with no internet. So I had to walk to a near-by park to check my emails, my myspace, etc. That is also where I started writing blogs for the first time. I have since wrote blogs and lived in houses with no internet to find out those aren't what made me closer to God.
When I started writing blogs it kept me attentive to the things God has been teaching me, I also got more curious about His creation. I started loving life in a whole new way, asking questions and seeking answers. But I have since asked questions and sought answers, and my question was still "how do I get as close to God as I was then?".
To keep this blog shorter and to the point, I will not include every thing in that time period I tried to recreate to get back to closeness I once had with God. But I certainly have tried anything I could. I remembered that it didn't happen in one day, I thought about that period recently and I realized that I faded into a closeness with God, I didn't just wake up one day close to Him.
I have realized that my prayer life is what changed the rest of my life.
When I wrote blogs then, I would pray before writing. When I walked to the park to check emails I prayed on my walk back and forth. When I had a girlfriend I prayed for her, prayed with her and prayed for direction in our relationship. When I worked on the the feature film, I prayed thanking God for putting me on set and praying that God would use me on the set how He wills. On the tours I would take walks outside the hotels, alone from all the guys and have alone time with God (which alone time on tour is hard to come by). Basically, after the years of trying to recreate the things in that time period, I have finally realized how much prayer was weaved into my daily life.
Praying is like talking to a friend you haven't seen in a while. You can't just text him a thought you had without it being weird, you have to call him, catch up with him and see what he has been up to. But when you talk to them a lot, texting them thoughts or jokes is very easy. With God, if you set aside time each day to talk to Him, it becomes so easy to talk to Him outside those designated times. It becomes so easy to talk to Him throughout the day while you are eating, brushing your teeth, or driving. In the past few years, silence has been a weird thing, now I can drive hours without turning on my CD player.
If you are a Christian, don't just say "I need to pray more", like I did. But set aside time in your day to do so. It's weird at first, especially if you haven't done it consistently in a while or ever. But once you built that appetite, you will crave prayer and that is when we start reflecting Jesus onto others.