i never was much into the rabbits and chickens thing, although i liked getting the chocolate bunny every year. thats more because it was a huge piece of solid chocolate with permission to eat it, than because it was a rabbit. i wouldnt have cared if it had been a chocolate alligator. i liked dying the eggs, because it was one of those rare things i did with my mom, and i like colors, and decorating things.
but i never got the connection between all that and then going to church. raised as a catholic we did all the major holidays like that. a mix of pagan and christian focus. it didnt really bother me, and i never felt like i was lied to when i found out santa didnt really come to my house with gifts on christmas night. i didnt feel like everything was a lie because some things were designed to delight and entertain children. i never considered God someone invented to play games around at holidays. besides, He was real in my life even back then, before i heard much of the gospel.
i just knew He was real. as a child, i hadnt learned to be sophisticated and cynical. i hadnt learned to explain things away. i still havent learned to explain things away. when He moved on my heart, or spoke to my spirit, i knew it was Him. mixed into the catechism i was taught in the catholic grade school i attended was some actual biblical teaching, and my heart always responded to it with faith. faith is instinctive to the spirit. the doubts arise when we are presented with the old ‘did God really say?’ questions.
one easter – actually it was good friday – i was thinking about how Jesus hung on that cross for so long. i wondered what that must have felt like. i had a set of monkey bars in my back yard that was in the shape of a rocket tilted to the side as if for blasting off, so i hung by my hands from the tip, just to see what it felt like. it didnt take very long before my arms really began to ache and my chest felt constrained. not even five minutes, i suppose. i really began to think about it then. it really hit home what an ordeal it must have been. it changed me.
of course, being born again really changed me. that was my first taste of being raised from the dead myself. it was way more than a new mind set. it really made me different inside. actually, it took a while for my mind to line up with the difference inside. im still working on that, to be honest. but just because i dont write about it all the time, that doesnt mean im not really different on the inside than i was before. its like, being a broken lamp. then being rewired, and given a new bulb, and being plugged into a constant power source. then, when i was baptized in the Holy Spirit, it was like pulling the cord and letting the power flow, lighting up the whole lamp. trust me, that takes more than a belief system to accomplish. it takes power. resurrection power.