Perhaps you’ve seen the recent studies about the effect of praise by psychologist Carol S. Dweck. (A variation of it seems to be in every parenting magazine I read recently.) Her work paints a very interesting picture.
In her study, some students were praised for their innate intelligence and some for their effort.
Then, the students were given a test. A test, unbeknownst to them, that was two years ahead of their grade level.
Predictably, they all failed.
The former – those praised for their intelligence – were devastated. They assumed that the test proved that they weren’t smart at all.
The later – those praised for their effort – weren’t fazed by failing the test. They simply assumed that they hadn’t focused hard enough on the test.
With regard to your spiritual-religious life, I would like to continue to encourage in your efforts.
Getting to find and be with (the) God (of your understanding) is nothing easy – many of the greatest minds who ever lived have struggled with this. Even Mother Teresastruggled with her faith – so know that you’re in good company.
Moreover, according to the Bible – and let’s leave Biblical baggage aside for a moment; I’m just making a cool point – after one of Abraham’s grandsons spends a sleepless night wrestling with God, God changes his name from Jacob to Yis’ra’el– which means”struggles with God” or “fights with God.” As I see it, that’s all of us – each of us, every day struggles, fights and wrestles with, defeats, and is defeated by God. Struggling with God, struggling with the question of God’s existence, struggling with the role of God in one’s life – none of us ever has full certainty with regard to God.
So, keep making the effort.
Seek out a relationship with (the) God (of your understanding).
After all, it won’t happen on its own.