Monday, September 23, 2013

Be Warned: Religious Opinion Enclosed.

Remember to tell the kids this......Every once in a while, watch a black and white movie.  They had to act back then....actually put on a show.  There was a really great story....similar to a book on the screen...There's nothing like it.  There are so many special effects today that are really fantastic and enjoyable....because of that, you can get away, for the most part, with having mediocre acting.  It wasn't like that back then.  So every once in a while, watch a black and white movie.  

These are the conversations I find myself having with myself.   Reminding myself to "tell the kids this:".

I'm going to do what no normal person would do publicly....I"m going to talk about my religious/spiritual beliefs.   Then again, I'm not normal.  I have a brain tumor.  I am finding that it can give me the right to do things most normal people would never do...I need to be very careful with this new power. I like to remind myself to use my powers(whatever they may be) for good....always for good.  Always try to choose the "right" thing...the morally good choice.  I'm human so as we all know it's extremely difficult.  That's why we have Saints.....because we can't believe that a human being can be THAT good.  I digress.....

For my whole life, I have believed in God.  It's never been a ? of is there or isn't there.  As a child, I felt an extremely strong pull to do the right thing(and NO, the end of this story is not that I am in any way, shape or form a Saint).  Whenever I did something that felt "wrong", I felt an extreme amount of guilt about it.  Even if it was just a small thing like not speaking up when someone said an unkind word to another person.

 As I got older, I was introduced to the church.  I was Christened Presbyterian.  But eventually, I moved and didn't get a ride to that church and stopped going.  From there, I didn't go to Church for many years.  Now, that doesn't mean that I didn't believe in God by any means.  During that period, I just didn't go to church.  

Then I left my abusive ex-husband.   Once I got settled into my new town, I went to church.  A Presbyterian church,  I remembered all the songs that I had sung in the choir and at church camp.  I remembered the warm feeling of safety and community.  I was so happy to be there again.  And then the pastor spoke.

Logically, I was able to listen to the sermon and understand what the pastor was trying to say.  Objectively, he meant no harm whatsoever.  Emotionally, I was absolutely destroyed.  The pastor was speaking about marriage.  And how the Bible says that the husband should provide for and protect the family while the wife should trust in her husband and listen to what he says.  I heard how the Pastor's words would be twisted and manipulated by an abusive man to keep a woman from believing in her own worth.  I couldn't stay.  I wasn't strong enough yet to speak with the Pastor so that he could learn how to be careful with his wording so as not to support an abusive man's behavior.  I never went back.

Years later, I started going to a Catholic church looking for that sense of safety and community.  I went for about 6 months when I learned just how much the people in the church loved to gossip and spread falsehoods about people for no other reason than they enjoyed the drama.  In short, they weren't behaving very Christian-like.

I know that my opinion on this subject is different than many other people's opinions including my own mother's opinion.  But if you notice the word that I used....it's opinion.  That's all it is...no more and no less.  I can not speak to know who God is, which God is the "right" God or even if God truly exists.  I can only speak to how I feel and no one else.

I do believe that we are all part of God....every single living "creature"...including plants and animals.  I believe that when we die, it is our soul returning to God.  I think "hell" is our own individual realization of what we did here in this life. This is as far as I've thought of it but it feels right.  That's as far as I've ever needed to think of it.

In other words, live your life the best that you can. Do your best to treat every living thing with kindness & respect.  Do your best to minimize the amount of harm that you do in life. Treat other's how you would want to be treated because in the end it doesn't matter what they have done to you.....it matters how you reacted to it.  They have their own "judgement day" where they will have to face all the things that they did in this life...it's not my place.

I don't believe that your sexual orientation has anything to do with God or hell or heaven.  No matter who you are in a relationship with, you choose to treat your partner right or treat them poorly....and that's the important part.

God doesn't go around giving out diseases nor does he usually go around taking them away (I can't discount miracles....those are all God..but they are extremely rare).  I don't believe that praying for what we want will get it for us.  I believe that God is too busy helping those who truly need it to waste time doing things we should be doing.  He's not going to give you that new job, you need to go out with a positive attitude and work hard to get it.  He's busy guiding the hand of a doctor of a child in heart surgery to worry about most of our small issues.  It's not that I don't believe that prayer helps.....it's that I think we need to keep our prayers for the big issues.

I am thankful for this life.  I don't want it to end any time soon.  But I also have come to believe that God has a sense of humor much bigger than any of us can even imagine.  I don't think she's cruel.

But the truth is:
I planned to go to college.....
I planned to get a degree to teach or be a nurse....
I planned to wait to get married until I had my career set......
I planned to then get married and have children and a house with a white picket fence....
I planned to raise my children with my husband & their father.....
I planned to always be healthy.....
I planned to be in love forever.........
I planned to grow old as a beloved teacher and retire ......
I planned to live in happiness & good health until I died in my sleep.....

God had plans of her/his own........
And I've gotten used to just going along for the ride knowing that....
Even when everything isn't alright, it will be in the end.

So, I have a brain tumor and no matter what happens tomorrow....I know everything will be alright.