Thanks very much for the responses. I should add that I regularly attend worship services (when I'm not traveling) and I've been keeping the fast and my prayer rule.
There is an interesting scene in A Place of Healing for the Soul
by Peter France, where the author describes the time leading up to his own Baptism. He approaches Met. Kallistos, who will be performing the sacrament, and expresses his concerns about not fully believing. I'm paraphrasing, as I don't have the book with me, but Met. Kallistos says something to the effect of, "is it enough for you that I
believe?" While perhaps not ideal, I do think that this makes sense. I've met and read the works of so many wonderful people that do have that full belief. I hope that makes sense.
Cognomen, if I may ask what made you jump from an agnostic to a very reverent monotheist? How did that change occur in your life?
Certainly, although I usually refrain from bringing it up too often or to those who don't know me personally, so as not to sound overly wacky and have it dismissed.
During a particularly dark period, I faced some significant trials, and it seemed necessary to turn to God for strength. I felt cheap about doing this, as I had neglected my relationship with Him so thoroughly until that point. I started a type of prayer rule. It began as a very casual "talking to God" and developed into a more formal practice. Having kept this prayer rule for some time, I became overwhelmed by doubt and began to think that my prayers were simply a psychological form of dealing with problems and wanting to believe in something. I somehow persisted though and continued to pray, communicating my doubts and lack of faith.
Not long after, a series of odd and inexplicable "coincidences" occurred. They were so over-the-top, that their timing and statistical probability seems virtually impossible to have been a matter of chance. Still, no message or meaning. Finally, however, this changed, and the messages culminated in an explanation. There was no "Go Here!" "Do This!" "Join This Church!" "Sacrifice This Iguana," nothing of that sort, just a very clear and perfectly timed message of reassurance that helped me understand that God is here and intimately involved in our lives. Following this, I believe, He fought off my arising doubts with more "reminders."
The communication was truly remarkable, and I felt a thorough sense of awe towards His power and wisdom. I can't stress enough the perfection of the message in its simultaneous complexity and simplicity. I still feel utterly blessed to have received it, and I know that it was His grace alone (not my worthiness) that allowed it to happen. While others who are aware of the details may be amazed at the more tangible and documented happenings, I understand that the entirety of this was tailored for me (I don't mean that in a prideful way, but that its full meaning, timing, in context with a response to my prayer was meant to be understood by me, and that it loses much of its power, intentionally, when translated to others). After spending a lot of time in contemplation, somewhat bewildered at His Magnificence, I began to find clues pointing me in the direction of Christianity. So, here I am!
Long story... well... still long, but a lot shorter than it could've been.
I know that Orthodoxy can be skeptical of experiences such as this, and rightfully so. That said, I believe that the baddies are currently trying to use this skepticism to cultivate doubt. I don't claim to be spiritually attuned or wise--I've never encountered anything remotely similar--but I certainly don't think that demons would be willing to partake in or be capable of revealing a sliver of the Majesty of God.