During Christmas time and at the end of the year people get really excited for the season of giving. It's a time where you see family and visit people a lot, but most of all give gifts. However after the "season of giving" passes and a lot of the excitement is gone, what happens to us spiritually? Do we give up and wait to next Christmas to thank God for all the challenges and accomplishments he has given us among other things, check-in every now and then, become inspired to get involved in a campus ministry or church? What is the next step and why can't we be present all the time instead of just for the holidays?
With the encouraging distraction of gift-giving through television, I feel giving and receiving gifts is the top priority instead of worshiping God during the holiday season. Some of us may be grounded in faith exclusively for the holiday season, year-round, sometimes, or not at all.
For the people that are confused about being spiritual or religious of any kind, I'm with ya. Until this year, I've lived my whole life thinking I was so "righteous" and "religious" when really that's not true at all. I've always identified as a Christian and went to church on and off my whole life, but no one ever explained to me what being a Christian or religious really meant. Or for the most important part, how to grow my faith.
While growing up in a Presbyterian church, all I wanted to know was how to grow my faith and sadly I felt I never got the answer to that question. All I received and learned from those years was: yes we're all sinners, we're only human, and random historical sermons from The Bible(yes I know it's the holy book but I'm not learning if growing your faith isn't mentioned or applied). After four years of hearing the same message, I left my church. I realized faith is never a competition and always about acceptance and purpose.
After feeling disconnected from a church for months, I felt tired and explored a couple of campus ministries during my first semester of college and stopped because they weren't the right fit. However, while attending these church groups, I learned more about how to grow my faith more in months than in the years of childhood going to a church of my parents choice. Leaving discouraged, I regret not motivating myself to find the right campus ministry for me but have spring semester to fix it.
My point is that we all have the opportunity to fix our religious issues anytime. Whether it is talking to someone who is involved in a church, has been connected in their faith for a long time, or puts God first always, someone will give you guidance on what to do. There's no need for embarrassment or shame about not being religious, but instead being honest with yourself on how and how much you want to improve. It's impossible for everyone to be a spiritual or at least a Christian. But if we at least try a little, it will make a world of difference.