For me, however, there was a mental wall between religion and God. I could walkaround inside religion and never, on any sort of emotional level, understand that God wasa person, an actual Being with thoughts and feelings and that sort of thing. To me, Godwas more of an idea. It was something like a slot machine, a set of spinning images thatdolled out rewards based on behavior and, perhaps, chance.
The slot-machine God provided a relief for the pinging guilt, and a sense of hopethat my life would get organized toward a purpose. I was too dumb to test the merit of theslot machine idea. I simply began to pray for forgiveness, thinking the cherries might lineup and the light atop the machine would flash, spilling shiny tokens of good fate. What Iwas doing was more in line with superstition than spirituality. But it worked. Ifsomething nice happened to me, I thought it was God, and if something nice didnít, Iwent back to the slot machine, knelt down in prayer, and pulled the lever a few moretimes. I liked this God very much because you hardly had to talk to it and it never talkedback. But the fun never lasts.
My slot-machine God disintegrated on Christmas Eve when I was thirteen. I stillthink of that night as ìthe lifting of the haze,î and it remains one of the few times I cancategorically claim an interaction with God. Though I am half certain these interactionsare routine, they simply donít feel as metaphysical as the happenings of that night. It wasvery simple, but it was one of those profound revelations that only God can induce. Whathappened was that I realized I was not alone in my own surroundings. Iím not talkingabout ghosts or angels or anything; Iím talking about other people. As silly as it sounds, Irealized, late that night, that other people had feelings and fears, and that my interactionswith them actually meant something, that I could make them happy or sad in the way thatI associated with them. Not only could I make them happy or sad, but I was responsiblefor the way I interacted with them. I suddenly felt responsible. I was supposed to makethem happy. I was not supposed to make them sad. Like I said, it sounds simple, but when you really get it for the first time, it hits hard.
I was shell shocked.
Donald Miller, Como os pinguins me ajudaram a entender Deus thomas nelson brasil