I was not baptized until I was around 10 years old.
That sometimes surprises people. I’m married to a minister and I’m consistently so involved in church and open about my faith that people assume I’m a UCC lifer.
For the first decade of my life, organized religion was not in the mix. That changed after Pope John Paul II was shot, an event that moved my Mother to reconnect with the Catholic church and, ultimately, to have both my brother and I baptized into it.
But I have always been a person of faith. For as long as I can remember, I have always believed in God. Didn’t think about why. Didn’t know what to call him-her-it. But I remember talking to God. I always believed that I could do that and that God, whatever he-she-it was, would hear me.
I remember feeling a bit shy and awkward when I prayed. Something like, “Um…God? It’s me, Craig, again. I know I’m not a Catholic or anything, but I’ve got some stuff I’d like to talk to you about…? If you’re not too busy…. You’re probably busy. But, anyway…” Etc.
Over the years, a lot about my faith life has changed. My views and approach are very different now. I drifted away from the Catholic church and eventually found a new home in the United Church of Christ. But my comfort with talking to God has never wavered. I do so on a regular basis, although not as often as I used to or as much as I’d like.
But at least now I feel confident God is never too busy to listen.