I have always wondered when did Jesus decided to establish a “sinners prayers” in order to become one of his follower or when he crated the steps to follow for the way of salvation, better known as “The Roman’s Road”. He never had Bible is his hands, so he could never started that or created those steps in order to go from darkness into life. I just can not see myself going from totally darkness, to totally light after following the Roman’s road, pray the prayer and ZAZ!! you are instantly becoming a follower of Christ. If I believe that this prayer will be a standard thing to do in order to become a believer, what kind of “personal” god am I believing in? It won’t be personal the moment I follow what others have done. Nobody has ever walked or will ever walk the same road I have done; because nobody could walk in the same shoes I have walked, live the same experiences, battle the same struggles or even see life the way I see it. I have been taught that I am very unique, because there is no other person like me in the entire world; so if I am unique, how come do I have to find God the same way others have? I thought God is more into a personal relationship. So again, if is personal why a prayer or a road has to be standardized for everybody else? If this is my own journey that does not mean I cannot learn from others, I mean from everybody else. Of course I can but at the end it will be my own personal road to walk. Sometimes we are more worry about this “new” people in the faith on how they need to behave, act, and practice “Christianity” that we steal from them the free space to find their own journey and walk their own steps. “This conversion is an inner event that cannot be manipulated but must develop from within. We cannot force anyone to such a personal and intimate change of heart, but we can offer the space where such a change can take place” (Nouwen). In doing so we can let people find their true self by abiding in that higher power called God, Abba, Allah or through out their interaction with others; knowing that every experience will be different. It could be in silence, with contemporary music, with hymns, in church or outside of it, at Sunday school or hanging out and drinking beer with friends, in ancient traditions or modern beliefs.
In the same way I create a welcoming place in my house for everybody to come and be themselves our places where faith is taught need to free spaces to find our personal encounter with spirituality. In my case I teach Christ but by not means I will ask you to change in order to come an fellowship with us, or expect for you to change after coming for a couple of days and listen to the teachings. That is your journey, your walk, your own steps, and do not let anybody tell you how to walk, if they do so, then it wont be a personal but a collective god. My father has eight children and we, each one of us, relate with him differently. When teaching about having a personal relationship with God, let us start living and practice what we taught and let people feel free to find their own journey.
“The real host is the one who offers that space where we do not have to be afraid and where we can listen to our inner voices and find our own personal way of being human. It means inviting the stranger into our world on his or her terms, not ours” (Nouwen)