(Written on 22 August 2012 in my journal)
I think for me, as a child, the Bible was stories (theoretically true, but still... stories) and lists of facts and lists and rules to follow...
I was a Bible "Reach for the Top" contest winner. The only thing that would really "involve" me was "saying the sinner's prayer" (and when young, I really didn't see how that related to me since I knew - and mostly followed - the rules).
For me, "living" it was following the rules ... which as I grew, seemed more and more arbitrary - even unbiblical! - like no dancing, and no swimming on Sunday (did I also mention how negative the rules were?).
I enjoyed the feeling of "winning" (sword drills, memory contests, Christian Youth Crusaders and Pioneer girls top badges and top awards, etc etc), and enjoyed the sense of community/ social and "spiritual" (religious? I wonder?) "in-ness" and the summer camps and the missionary stories and the music and such...
but I couldn't seem to "get" whatever it was... that look in the eyes, that conviction in the voice, that tenderness and compassion (and humility - and even some "not-sureness" about every detail) in people like Grandpa and the Ts and my mom.
I knew that for some people there was a "reality" I couldn't grasp... but I had no idea of how to get there... and maybe I just thought that somehow the rules would take me there eventually. Maybe I was like Data on Star Trek, longing to be human (or in my case, longing to be connected somehow to God)... and having to just keep on living and experiencing, instead of trying to find it with a chip implant.
My view of the Bible - and Christianity - as a child, became, I think, an ingrained habit - yes, my belief! But always I wondered about those few people for whom the Bible and God and Jesus and the Spirit were real!
I wonder what Sunday morning sermons were about when I was a child? I heard hundreds, but I don't remember. Though I do remember that evening services were all about "evangelistic" songs and sermons (and sometimes missionary presentations, which I still can picture quite vividly!).
I just didn't know there were any other dimensions that those that I had been taught....