They Know God, They Just Don’t Know Him

I think I underappreciate air conditioning.  I don’t always like the idea of it because I’m trying not to waste energy (or money), but after being hot and sweaty this weekend, the cool air feels nice in my office right now.  I just got back from Steubenville, Ohio where we took 22 high school students to the Franciscan University High School Conference.  It’s a trip we’ve taken the last 3 years and each time I learn something new about our students.
They know God, they just don’t know Him.  What I mean is they believe God exists, they believe in Christ, and they know about the Holy Spirit, but it’s really just a fairytale.  It’s a good story, a good reason to believe in hope and love but this God doesn’t really have much relevance.  It’s a shame that they think this way, but for many of them it changed this weekend.
They were able to witness the power of the Holy Spirit through Eucharistic Adoration on Saturday night.  During this point in the conference students have received an abundance of information about how God is working in their lives and now they have the opportunity to listen to Him.  The night begins with contemporary Christian worship music lead by Bob Rice and his band, followed by some quiet reflective time with the Body of Christ.  During this time you really get to see God work in the lives of 2300 people and for many it’s moving, surprising and awe inspiring.  Some of our students felt Him immediately work through them and for others, new questions were brought to the table.  Overall most of them went from knowing who He is to who He wants to be in their lives.
We need to provide opportunities for our students to see God’s power in action, not just talk about it.  I’m not sure how you conjure that up, but you can provide opportunities.  One approach we’ll be taking this year in our student programs is incorporating more prayerful evenings.  In other words will turn up the worship and turn down the discipleship so the students can just practice being with God.  They know He exists its just they haven’t been given opportunities to spend time with Him.