'...if you seek the Lord your God you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.' - Deuteronomy 4:29
There is a little game I always play with my friends once we have reached the point where we're comfortable in one other's company - the sort of trusting, relaxed state where you can cheekily say that you actually couldn't stand them when you first met them, and they in turn might retaliate by saying they thought you were a snooty cow yourself. And then you both laugh at the ridiculousness of your first impressions of each other.
I played the same game with God.
I tried to remember as far back as I could when I knew about his existence, and what my first impression of him had been, so to speak. And I couldn't pinpoint an exact moment because it seemed he had always been there. Whether it was through family prayer times, or Sunday School gatherings, he had been unquestionably part of my life without my pausing to think what it meant to me personally.
But a point comes when faith and church-going becomes, not the hackneyed activity of Sunday only, but a constant and conscious awareness of, and commitment to pursing God for yourself all day, everyday.
So now I search for God, not in the bricks and mortar of the church - for he doesn't dwell in the building, but in the people who make up the building. I search in the beauty of his creation, and in my thoughts and actions.
Most importantly I have realised that God is bigger than all I'll ever comprehend, stronger than any weakness I'll ever suffer, provider of all I'll ever need... and far from playing a game of hide-and-seek with me, he lives in...me.
But the search is not over. On the contrary, it has taken on a deeper, more earnest approach.