Tonight I finished reading the book "Has Christianity Failed You?" by Ravi Zacharias. I originally picked it up off of the library shelf thinking I could pick up some arguments that I could use in debates with my friends who view Christianity critically. The book did give me ideas to spark deeper conversation with my friends about how the nature of Christianity and also surprised me by challenging me to consider why I am a Christian and what that means.
My major takeaway from the book is that before making the claim '_______ has failed me', I need to understand what the ____________ is and encompasses. (I used _______ instead of the word Christianity because I believe this formula could be used for many religions/companies/ideas/etc.)
Sometimes, I think we miss seeing the big picture. In the animated movie 'Meet the Robinsons' Lewis, an intelligent boy who was left at an orphanage as a baby, creates a machine that would allow him to look back in his past at the night his mother dropped him off on the doorstep. He completes the machine just in time for his school science fair. At the school science fair, however, he plummets into despair when his machine fails to work. It is not until much later in the story (spoiler alert) that Lewis finds out that the evil hat had interfered and kept his machine from working properly. The machine, does in fact work just as Lewis had planned it to, he just failed to see the big picture at the time. The big picture, in the movie, also involved realizing it wasn't crucial for his life to understand who his biological family was (thus opening him up to love those around him rather than seeking something less crucial).
Lewis hopes and dreams failed as he originally planned them. Yet, through the failure of those plans, he was exposed to the bigger plan for his life.
I don't believe that God ever fails and leaves us completely abandoned. When prayers go unanswered, when the spiritual fire within isn't roaring up, when God doesn't seem to be active in the everyday life, it can feel like God has failed. In the big picture, however, we need to realize who He is and that by His nature, He will listen to every prayer but not answer all with a resounding 'yes'. It is only when God has disconnected us from our beliefs about what Christianity can give us that we can embrace God's bigger picture on what being a Christian is, loving God and loving others. It is not about being prosperous, though sometimes God blesses us with prosperity. It's not about getting a better place in heaven, but continuing to love God and through loving Him, love others.
Has Christianity or God failed you? Or are we holding false presumptions about what Christianity is and who God is while failing to continue to pursue finding more about who and what this is all about?