Be Not Far From Me, My God

My sophomore year of college, I took a class called Psychology of Religion.  It was one of my favorite classes and it caused me to really evaluate some parts of my faith that I never had before.  I remember one day in particular, we were discussing worship music and that feeling you get when you really press in and praise God.  My professor told us about a study that showed that the type of brain activity that happens when worshiping God is similar to what it would be at a concert; it’s believed to be caused by the energy of the music and the excitement of the crowd which, to me, made it seem like that feeling was somehow false or dishonest.  If I could have the same reaction by just getting into live music, then maybe that feeling wasn’t God’s presence or the Holy Spirit like I had always thought.  This didn’t really make me doubt my faith, but it did cause me to stop worshiping in the way had been accustomed to.  At first, I thought that I just needed to stop making it about me and the feeling I got and just praise Him, but I began to realize I couldn’t really separate the two; when I tried, I just became bland singing with no emotion behind it.  Then I tried for a more solemn earnest worship experience where I considered the words and tried to sing them as a prayer.  This helped me feel closer to God in some ways, but the lack of energy made me feel like there was no one on the other end of my prayers.  I tried to worship God and talk to Him, but without letting my emotions get in the way so that I could prove it was really Him and not a trick of my brain chemistry, but nothing comes through.  So now, I’m left to wonder, does God’s silence, the lack of any type of touch or sense of Him, mean he doesn’t exist or do I need to let go and allow Him to communicate with me through my own thoughts and emotions and, if so, how do I know that I’m any different from someone experiencing some form of psychosis?  How do I know when a thought of feeling is God or just something in my human brain.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people attribute things (ideas, circumstances, opinions, etc.) with no foundation.  I’ve tried really hard never to do that, but it’s possible that I may need to trust in Him, pray, and do my best to discern what’s really from God.

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