Sunday, May 08, 2005

Do I Believe?

I have been thinking a lot lately. I suppose it began with a big disappointment that came earlier in the week. I had the best of intentions when I wrote posts like I Need You and Just For You. I don't write statements that I don't truly believe, and if I do, then I make that clear. However, it's like Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed about your faith being nothing more than a house of cards if it can be knocked over with grief. I am coming to realize that my faith really is a house of cards. It cannot be anything more than that if it is so easily crushed.

I would understand if difficulties made me doubt God's plan for my life, or His hand being in things, or something small like that. But doubting the big things like Christ's divinity and the absolute truth of Christianity... that's not normal for a "Christian" to do, regardless of circumstances. Why are those the first things to go for me? It's not like one day I believe in Christ and the next I don't. I just begin doubting everything, the whole cosmic scheme. I wonder, "Am I believing the right thing? How do I really know? How do I know anything?" It really sucks.

This is why: I was thrown off my axis years ago and I have never been able to get completely back on. There are times (like when the aforementioned posts were written) when I feel like I could definitely get back into it. But even those times require me to ignore certain questions that will never go away. I'm never certain. I know I'm supposed to be, but I'm not. For example, I was driving Sister home tonight and forcing her to listen to my John Lennon Collection. We started talking about Imagine and I said, "Well, it does have a wonderful message. He's saying that we shouldn't allow division based on religion, or worry so much about who's going to hell and who isn't. We should live for today and be good to each other now. That's great... the only thing is, if there is a heaven and hell, I think we should think about it." She said to me, "What do you mean if there is a heaven...?"

That's the real reason I began this blog. I didn't decide to do it so that I can sing religion's praises or write about what a happy peppy Christian I am. I did that in a couple of posts, but seriously, it's not as simple as that. I started it so that I could find a way to make sense of things, as opposed to the mental back-and-forth that I can't put an end to.

I have to say, I think that not having beliefs that you really believe is one of the scariest things in life. How do agnostics do it?

A couple of verses from my favorite Lionel Richie song seem appropriate here:

Golden days, night was play,
Pain was all a world away,
We went to school, we learned the rules,
We trusted all they all had to say,
Then life took a turn, we all had to learn,
And we can't go back again.


God was God, dreams were dreams,
Life was all cake and ice cream,
Truth was true, and lies were lies,
We thought love would never die,
But the world moved on, my illusion's gone,
And I don't know who to blame.


I'm looking for protection,
Give me shelter from the storm,
I just hope this light inside me
Keeps me strong.


Overshop said...

I was once a very strict, very devout christian. Then I had my faith knocked out from under me. I don't think I'll ever believe in anything again. Some people are able to bounce back from a crisis in faith. Good luck to you in your journey.

sojourness said...

Thanks. That is the perfect way to explain it because it seems that's literally what happens.