I'm reading this great book (at least thus far), "Confessions of an Amateur Believer" by Patty Kirk. I came across this section that I'm in awe of how well/accurately it describes belief and not believing in God...here it is...(it's just been talking about how she, like many others, believed in God so easily as a child)...
"God's invisible presence is unmistakable-it must be-in the bleakest of settings, if our senses are motivated, as the senses of children are, by dependence and need.
Unbelief comes later. Beset by troubles, or else blinded to our fundamental need and dependence by ease and by our increasing ability to take care of ourselves, some of us lose sight of God. Or we forget to look for him. As we do when a loved one dies, we eventually become accustomed to days and nights without the one we loved and gradually forget the contours of a face we once knew with our eyes closed. Soon, mourning itself is a distant memory, replaced by the more urgent activities of daily life. As time passes, we struggle to remember the person at all and carry with us only a vague sense of loss.
That is unbelief, I think. The nagging absence of a remembered face. Sometimes a certain smell or touch or sound we associate with the one we have lost reminds us. Sometimes, in the night we dream the person live and real again. But, our practical selves wake us up and convince us of what seems, in loss, to be the only reality: we are alone. Unbelief, in my experience, is much less a conscious rejection of God (not to say it can't be) than a sense of abandonment and loss. A sense of our own aloneness. And the certainty that no effort on our part can restore to us the one we loved."
I enjoy that explanation because I think we often see not believing in God to only come when we open our lips and say we don't believe. However, in reality, what it is much more common, especially in America, is a scenario such as this in which the presence of God is shoved to the back burner, then off the burner, then forgotten as we become more independent with age. I think she hit it right on when she said the more we were able to do things on our own and the less we needed God (or so we thought), the more God is shoved to the side. I think this is why we often see faith appear stronger in those who have very little, then in the rich. You're less likely to think you need Him when have money.
Alright, it's time to get to work. Happy ponderings!