Friday, May 11, 2012
These are the nights that faith would be nice. The nights when something seems wrong, even if nothing is. When reminders abound of friendships lost. When the beautiful weather is drowned out by a screaming child or a barking dog. I’m not prone to loneliness. But tonight I am.
In writing these things about faith and religion, I’ve allowed myself to think and feel whatever seemed right. On the thinking side, I’m not sure that I’ve gained any wisdom or appreciation for religion. The process seems to be the same, no matter which one a person chooses. There are uncomfortable questions, and there are answers to those questions. People pick the one that suits them, and for the most part, they feel better. The mind calms the emotions. On the feeling side, I feel like I understand religion’s appeal, and have lost any idea that religion is irrational. It most certainly is not. Religion allows people to let go of the worse kinds of doubts. Why am I here? Where does my mind go when I die? Am I relevant to a Creator? For the person that feels the answers to those questions, faith is immeasurably valuable.
I can’t find them. The answers. The feelings. I can’t trick myself into believing or feeling something that my mind doesn’t think is true. I’ll probably write on this another time, but I’m starting to think that faith is outside a person’s control. Think about it - what would have to happen for you to stop believing in God, or Jesus, or love, or whatever you hold hear? And even if those things happened, do you think your faith would just disappear? Or would you find a way to make sense of what happened within the context of your faith? Disbelief is the same way. I have no idea what it would take for me to believe in God. Even greater, believing in a personal God. And multitudes greater than that, believing in the Judaic vision of God (the Christian God, Jesus, Allah, etc..). These are the religions of the world that claim there is one, personal God, and that God loves me more than I can imagine. Wouldn’t that be amazing!
But that’s not what I feel, and it’s not what I know. And I can’t decide if I should be jealous of the faithful, or suck it up and accept what I think is the truth.