I was also thinking about all the tweets and facebook posts I’ve read saying “Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma,” or “May God be with the people affected by the devastation in Oklahoma.”
Now, it’s no secret to those who know me well that I am not a religious man. I went to eight years of Catholic grade school. Among the things I learned — how to feel guilty and what a hypocrite looks like. I went to church almost every day for most of my childhood. Now I only step in a church if somebody I know dies or gets married. Me and religion just don’t see eye to eye.
That doesn’t mean I hold anything against those who are true believers. In fact, I admire them for their faith and dedication. There are times when I wish I could just let go and believe in something other than what I see. But that’s not who I am or how I’m wired. And for those who think I’m going to hell because of that, they might do well to worry a little more about who they are before they condemn others. Judge not lest ye be judged, right?
I guess you could say my faith is based on hope. But the one thing I know for sure is that I don’t know for sure. None of us do.
My point is this — I feel that if we would all spend more time looking inside ourselves for strength and answers and less time looking somewhere else, the world just might be a better place. No matter what you believe, ask yourself if there’s something more you could be doing to make a difference — in the world we live in right here, not the one that might be. Because the world we live in right here keeps getting scarier.
If praying is your thing, that’s great. If it works, even better. But don’t forget to have faith in the one thing that’s here for sure — you.
That’s what I think. Don’t judge me. Don’t try to save me. Just respect me for what I believe. And I’ll do the same for you.JS
I can relate. I was raised as a very strict catholic, and yes, with that poured in the heavy weight of guilt. Not only could I not do anything right, but even the thoughts I was having as a young boy only seemed to reiterate that I was hell-bound. There was no hope within those walls...as a matter of fact, to this day I have nightmares about being in church, the statues move, and try coming after me. Even my dreams clearly show the damage done by the "religious". So I can relate.ReplyDelete
Needless to say, when I was old enough, I was outta there. But would run into various people, and religion would come up in conversation, I would listen, but everyone had a different view, often contradicting each other.
People who know me, know I am a truth seeker, one who analyzes everything to death, looking at both sides from multiple sources, analyze it again, until finally reach my conclusion--which is how I began learning about God. After nearly ten years of study, I arrived at the point that I had to either let go of all I had learned about God growing up, or turn away from God. This happened while going through a deep, unimaginable spell of depression, and I chose to let go of what I was taught, and found that God is a God of infinite grace--no guilt in the arms of Christ, which is a pretty good place to be. Too many churches have personal agendas, and use all sorts of poor tactics to fulfill their agenda--it's a real shame.
However, the churches in Oklahoma, made the news, over, and over again. The churches have opened their homes, buildings, reaching out to help the people who had to endure this unbelievable disaster. From clinics to hospitals, their foundations are generally Christian. Not that any of these are perfect, but hey, who is? It's said, that if you find a church without any hypocrites in it, don't join it, cause you'll spoil it. Isn't that the truth? There are no perfect "churches", so they are unfit to condemn me, but God, well, he is perfect, and Christ set me free.
Jason, I enjoy reading your blogs, you might overthink, but that's a hellofa lot better than not thinking by simply following the masses as the majority do. I hope you continue even after...after you're no longer grounded. I hope I didn't come across as preachy, just sharing a little bit of my story. Thanks, and looking forward to your next.
Thanks Tim. I appreciate your insight and perspectives. I'm hoping this blog helps both me and others deal with some of the "noise" upstairs. I'll do my best to keep up on regular posts. There's never a shortage of stuff in my head, I'm just not always sure people want to hear about it!ReplyDelete