Sunday, August 7, 2005

Reflecting on Religion

The Pictures I posted today are 1.) The Sky (of course), and 2.) My daughter looking at her reflection in the puddle by our pool.  I have to admit, I asked her to lie down and look in the puddle because I thought it would make a good picture, and I think it really does....

The sky...how amazing is that?  When the sun's rays shine through the clouds like that it gives me a warm, comforting feeling.  I've been told, in the past, that this feeling is the Holy Ghost.  That whenever you feel this... whether it's during prayer, great joy, great sorrow, or just whenever.  I know it feels wonderful. 

I have had so many questions through the years about religion.  About God.  I take my children to church throughout the church school year.  They are involved in Choir and bells.  Yet, we don't go all summer long...just because there is no church school.  When my older daughter was about 3, I wanted to start going to church again.  At THAT time, I felt that children should stay in worship with their families...then, I finally figured out that that was not an option.  They don't understand what's being said on an adult level like that.  They get much more from the curriculum which is age appropriate...I know this because I alternate teaching their classes every year.  And yet, there's these questions...I have questions!  And DOUBTS!  I'm ashamed to admit it!  Does this mean I am without faith?  Damn.  I'm really upset about this.  I have always told kids in class that having doubts is all a part of the journey.  Honestly?  I can only hope this is true.

I recently found out that we will be finally getting a new minister soon.  Our beloved Peter retired two years ago.  We have had an intrim minister ever since that, well, another shameful thing, I haven't loved quite as much.  Ahem.  Lots of prayers about this, yes.  If someone preaches one thing and they don't live by their words, it's very hard for me to sit and listen to them.  Sorry.  I'm just not into hypocrisy.  All these strikes against me...

I suppose some of you are wondering why I even go to church.  I know my husband is...well, it's that warm feeling I get when I look at the sky again.  It's praying in the sanctuary where I was baptized with so many other families that are also there for the right reasons.  It's that feeling of, ok, I know I have questions and doubts, but You forgive me, Lord.  Don't you?  That no matter that millions of people out there believe with all their heart and soul something different from the next person.  It's ok.  Whatever reasons these doubts cloud my mind...the sun's rays will shine through and warm me every single day of my life, regardless. 

"There's some things I know to be true                                                       Snow is white, and the ocean is blue                                                              Rain is wet when it falls from the sky                                                              And the stars come out every night                                                                And just as sure as the sun will rise                                                              This love is real, you see in my eyes                                                            Plant a seed and it will grow                                                                         There's some things I know...."

Billy Gilman

 

6 comments:

inafrnz247 said...

Well, that poem didn't turn out quite the way I had planned......

sistercdr said...

It hit me earlier this year that only a perfect person could have a perfect faith, and there's only been one of those so far.  I read a great quote earlier this year from one of the female Catholic saints (sorry, I don't remember which one), but it went along the lines of God, I don't know you.  I don't want to know you, but I want to want to know you.  If a saint can have a faith that weak, I think we're allowed as well.

hillareeday said...

I have never been a faithful church-goer, but I consider myself a good Christian. I would like to participate more when Mitch and I start our own family. I always have that peaceful feeling when I do go.
I don't think any less of you for voicing the questions and doubts that you have. In fact, I think God would be very proud of you for admitting it!
I like this entry a lot, especially the pictures!

s0ngbird1962 said...

I get that feeling sometimes when looking up at the sky, too.... Talking to God while looking up at a beautiful sky always gives me such a feeling of peace.  

It has been a long time since I've stepped foot in a church, I feel bad that I wasn't the model I should have been for my oldest in regards to church.  I vow to do different for my two littlest ones.  They need a place for their faith to have roots, grow.

Wonderful pictures!

sierrajazz said...

That picture of your daught is soo beautiful, so unique.  
I work many weekends but go to church when I can. The beauty of nature brings me especially close to God. There are a lot of things I don't like about churches, and I will never agree with everything about a church.  I just know I believe in God and try to learn more about him through Bible study, and be the best person I can be.  If others are hypocrites then I find it hard to be believe in what they say, but it doesn't change my mind about believing in  God and being a Christian. I think God will put the people in your life you need to help you understand if you truly want to learn more about him... but yes you have to filter through the hypocrites and false teachers also. I get confused about many things also and am not very good at justifying and explaining my beliefs, but do the best I can.

bgilmore725 said...

Even the disciples doubted what Jesus taught them, time after time after time. And they walked the earth with him, ate dinner with him, witnessed the miracles first hand. If Jesus could patiently teach and reteach, explain, and model for them over and over again, then how much less understanding could he be with us who didn't smell the dust on the roads they walked? How much greater is faith in those that believe but did not see or hear what took place long ago? Peter, who challenged his faith and got out of the boat to walk to Jesus momentarily on water... even his doubts caused him to sink into the water. Yet Jesus lifted him up again. That same Peter who was so afraid after Christ was arrested that he denied knowing Jesus. Jesus knew he would do this, and still loved him, and chose him to be the rock of the Church. We are fearful, doubtful people, but we have faith, and that faith guides us to go places we have never been before, and to do things we have never done before, in Christ's name. In church, or out of church. The nice thing about Church is being part of the Body of Christ, and so it is a community of  people who follow Christ, together, do Christ's work here on earth, to be servants for the Lord. It's hard to be a Christian and always be alone. His work is too great for us to do alone. Sanctuaries can be created at home, as places to renew, rest, to become whole again, in order that we may all the more go out and serve Christ. Even Jesus needed to be alone to rest after a long day of miracle healings! Whether you worship with a community of faith or alone in the stillness and quiet of your heart, God hears and knows. Doubts and questions mean you are a seeker. As long as you seek, you will find! Keep your faith, and explore the many ways to express it. I love this kind of reflective entry you made here. I haven't read all your entries yet, but in time, my friend, in time. Bea