It is our best efforts that God notices more than the goals we haven't reached yet.
I recently wrote an article about making a date with God and building your relationship with Him. I, however, didn't delve much into what often prevents us from doing so. Despite your best intentions, sometimes, you find yourself straying. I often do. I don't give God all the time and attention He deserves. The world can be very distracting and, with the wrong mindset, more interesting.
I stated before that Christians are called to view our relationship with our Father as our primary one, and I drew examples from worldly relationships, enforcing the idea of addressing the other's needs and being attentive. I failed to acknowledge how hard that can be for both worldly relationships and, more so, a heavenly one.
We often don't put as much as we should into our relationships. We neglect to call family. We put off talking to friends for days, and sometimes, when the relationship becomes less new, we don't put as much effort into romantic relationships as we did in the beginning. We grow familiar and complacent.
With us imperfect creatures being so flighty, it's that much harder to invest into a relationship where, sometimes, it feels like nothing is evolving or you're not being heard. It's like sending texts and waiting for a response that never seems to come. It feels so one-sided. You're trying to put in all the effort, and God is doing nothing in return.
In truth, it was a one-sided relationship, but God was the one putting in all the effort while you reaped the benefits. Now that you have decided to do your part to build the relationship, you haven't yet developed the self-discipline to keep it up. You might not be ready for the changes that come along with incorporating a new person in your life, the things you'll have to give up, the sacrifices you might have to make, the negotiations or submissions you must make.
Every good relationship needs care and time, especially one that has been neglected for so long. Like a garden, it must be weeded and tended to faithfully to nurse it back to health. That's what my previous argument intended to address.
The most important thing you must decide on is what you want from your relationship with God. Do you want a sugar daddy who lavishes you with gifts for just being there? If so, move along and reevaluate your intentions. You have to want to be with Him for who He is and for what He intended for you. If you want this relationship, you have to set your focus on him and build a foundation of God in your life.
This is what I am attempting to do at this point in my life. I grew up in church, but I have always relied on the faith of others. I never sought after God on my own. Now that I am, I often find myself hitting brick walls. I can't hear God. I don't feel Him. I have homework or a club to go to, so I can't pray right now. I don't have time to read the Bible; I have to finish this essay I kept putting off.
I wonder if he hears me, if he'll help me, and if I'm doing something wrong. Am I not reading the right passage? Am I praying right or enough? Am I disappointing Him? Am I behaving the way I should, setting the right example, living the way I should? Should I be doing more? I REALLY CAN'T PRAY RIGHT NOW!
It's hard, and sometimes, I cave when the pressure builds. What's wonderful is that He is a forgiving and understanding God. He'll meet you in your circumstances, going far past the halfway point to where you have only started taking a few steps. When your focus shifts, He waits for you to remember Him. He gives you the time to falter and make mistakes in hopes that you won't give up. Even if you do, He doesn't because His love is unconditional, but he wishes for it to be returned. Don't we all? Unreciprocated love hurts.
So it doesn't matter if you can't pray every day for 30 minutes. It doesn't matter if you don't read your Bible every day or attend church regularly. These are things you should strive for, but remember, you are a work in progress. Sometimes, you'll wander or doubt or backslide, but as long as you are trying, that's all that matters.
In Matthew 14, when Jesus walks on water, Peter seeks to join Him. He has his eyes fixed on the Son, but the wind, the world around him distracts him, and he grows afraid. Though Jesus later says, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" remember that when Peter cries out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reaches out and catches him.
You don't have to be the next Elijah and Enoch, the so holy that they ascended straight to Heaven. You just have to try like Peter, and even if you falter or fail, God sees your attempts. Even if you have less faith than you like or don't put as much effort in as you should, God hears you and will come to your aid.
Just don't give up. If you want the fruits, you have to tend the garden.