Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I don't know what to do about God.
There, I said it. I've been thinking for some time that I am lost and facing a crisis of faith, but I haven't been able to verbalize the true nature of my dilemma. Message boards are apparently good for helping me sort out those confusing thoughts in my brain, because I realized what is wrong while reading a, "Why do you believe in God?" thread. All these women (and they are all women...I'm not being sexist here), said things like, "How can I NOT believe in God? Look at all the wonderful things in the world." And I had this almost uncontrollable urge to ask about all those horrible, awful things in the world.
How do you turn a blind eye to those as a means to support your faith? And if you are truly faithful, how do you explain them?
It's not that I'm now blind to the good things in life. I can see them every day and I realize that I AM blessed in MANY ways. But there are SO MANY bad things in the world. Really bad things that I can't even comprehend. For me...there's this one thing...and it's a biggie to me. It's of the sort that makes me cry, "Why me? What did I do to deserve this? What is the lesson to be learned?" And you know what I get as an answer? Silence. That is even more unfair. Because then I get flippant statements like, "God provides the answers in his time...he doesn't answer to you...and he doesn't always provide the answers we want to hear." Oh, how that makes me want to smack someone. Basically, the message is, I'm a puppet on a string who is subject to the whims of some grand power who offers no explanations and no comfort. I can't even imagine how people suffering through worse must feel.
So what now? I have this feeling of WANTING to believe in something. But how to feel comfort from something that you are so angry with...
I feel like God is there, like those crosses you see on the side of the road. You know they're there, but you drive on past them, not even turning your head to really see them. And a part of you is repulsed by the thought of them being there...what they really mean. But part of you is touched by the thought that someone thought enough of that person to place a cross on the spot where they died. Why do they do that, by the way? I know of no other socially acceptable practice where we place religious symbols at the location of someone's death. But I digress...
I can't pray the old prayers. But I have yet to figure out how to pray new ones.
And to the women who ask, "How can you NOT believe in God?" Take a good look around. Watch the news. Leave your quiet suburban life and visit the real world that other PEOPLE live in. Look at them and whip out your flippant quote about God and his answers, and see what kind of reaction you get. I suspect there are more like me out there who think of God as a highway marker, rather than the amazing comfort you do.
So what use is there for God? He is the keeper of the promise that says I will see my Alex again someday. I guess that's why I want to hold onto some shred of belief. But there's a lot of time between then and now.