Some questions are so simple, they're hard. Like, "Honey, did you remember to pick the kids up at school?" Sounds easy enough. I mean, I should be able to look around and see if the kids are with me or not, right?
I got one of those questions the other night after our first day broadcasting the PGA Championship from the magnificent Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin. This was my first week working with the crew of pga.com, a talented group of super nice people. Getting to know each other over a thin-crust pizza and some of Milwaukee's finest, I mentioned I'd been doing some work for Continent of Great Cities, helping mission teams plant strong churches. As I told my new friends how I'd drunk the Kool-Aid when it came to Christ, that I'd fallen for Him hook, line, and Savior, one of them asked me:
"So how would someone begin a relationship with God?"
Yes! For someone sharing his faith, this was a tap-in, a batting practice fastball, a chip-shot field goal...
"I'm sorry, what was that again? Can you rephrase the question? Can I phone a friend? Wouldn't you rather discuss instrumental music or why Phoebe wasn't really a deacon?"
This most basic query put me in a momentary quandary. Someone really smart and famous - maybe G.K. Chesterton - once wrote that it's more difficult to defend that which you truly hold dear than something you don't really believe in. (Okay, it probably wasn't Chesterton; he wouldn't have ended a sentence with a preposition.) For example, I might make a more coherent case for a presidential candidate than I could explain how deeply I love my wife.
The first thing I told the guy was that it was a really good question. Then we talked about beginning with some very basic prayer, asking God who He is and if He's real and being completely honest. The real answer, of course, is that there is no formula. There never is in real relationships. Books on dating or parenting offer helpful hints on how to achieve success in those areas, at best, and, at worst, reduce those endeavors to simple algebra that never quite equates in real life.
"How would someone begin a relationship with God?"
Good question. Here's another, "Does the school cafeteria have a dinner menu?"