Powerful Stuff from Donald Miller’s Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance…
�I have, in the training of the church, acquired the proper language, the gestures, the utterances of Scripture which carries a young man to his perceived success. I am �a fine young man,� �an anointed child.� God�s hand is �on me� and He will �use me to do great things.� All of this swells the head and develops a lust for more and more. I read C.S. Lewis and quoted him in a Bible study. I was then asked to lead the next study, having been thought an intellectual by my contemporaries. So I read more of Lewis, and of Paul Johnson and Calvin Miller, and then finally elevated to Kipling, Herbert, and Thompson. This branded me as more than literate; I was an appreciator of beauty and of the higher elements in life. All this in complete contradiction to the truth. I rarely felt what I read, only reading to pull quotes and have it appear I resonated with such noble ideas. Still, pushed by my contemporaries, I precipitated further into the ranks of church culture. Having developed an ability to communicate with a degree of drama and insight, I was acquisitioned as a staff member. I led a college group and taught twice each week. Twenty-one being an early age to bear such responsibility, my aspect was that of leader, but my heart was empty. I led, not in obedience to God, but for the reward that comes with the position: the comments and the looks and the shaking of hands and admiration that accompany a �man of God.��
�I was the one who was asked to pray when eating lunch with friends. I was asked advice on subjects I had never thought of nor experienced. I studied, not for the joy of learning, but to pass myself off as a man of books. I read and memorized lengthy passages of Scripture, not for the feeding of my soul, but that I might repeat them in public. Upon analyzing my behavior, I became despondent. In the midst of knowing about God, the very being I studied, to me, was evasive, was invisible, was no one I knew.� (p. 77-78).
�My knowing God will not come through convincing others that I know Him, it will come in seeking, in the effort and in the joy that increase with my familiarity of His goodness.� (p. 78-79).