blogicalinks

seeking | sharing | venting | whatever…ing

Something’s Happening

with 5 comments

Some of you who have known me for a long time have known that I go in and out of spiritual phases. I was born and reared in the church, surrounded by it, dragged to it, immersed in it. I got away from it, then jumped back into a very fundamentalist version of it. This phase led to a lot of dissonance about reconciling my sexuality with my spirituality. On the other side of that, when I felt like I had to choose which was the more “real” me, I chose to be who I know myself to be, and tossed out everything else, rarely looking back.

Yeah, I could talk the talk, and for the most part, still walked the walk. The way I behave myself, socially, ethically, etc., easily mimics the way most church-going Christians are, even when my motivation is not spiritual at all. Basically, I’m a good person, and so, to the casual observer, I am not that different than someone whose motive is to please God.

To anyone who could see my heart, honestly, I’m pretty good there too. I try to love people who are difficult to love, I commit random acts of kindness on a regular basis, etc. So again, nothing very different than a proclaimed Christian.

Difference is, I’m floundering. I do not EVER want to get back into a fundamentalist way of thinking or anything of the sort, but I’ll tell you, the thing I miss most is having something to believe in that nothing external can shake. I miss having core values in my life that are built on something bigger than me and my limited understanding. I miss believing that there is a plan and purpose behind my time here.

I’ve read a lot, I’ve thought a lot, but almost everything I’ve known about God has been in my head, and I don’t “feel” God. There was no comfort, no strength, nothing. Just a bunch of failed attempts to give mental assent to things I don’t really believe. It just wasn’t happening.

A series of things have had me thinking/feeling differently lately. I still don’t believe a lot of things the Bible seems to teach, but there’s something stirring in me again spiritually. I never want to turn my brain off when it comes to something as important as my spiritual life, but I don’t want to be approaching something SOOO intellectually that I miss the pleasure and comfort it might offer.

Who knows? I can never prove myself or anyone else to be right or wrong in theology, but frankly, that’s not where I feel like starting this time—with a cold theology. I want to understand more the person (or even the concept) of Jesus. I want to believe, as He did, in something strongly enough that I would die (and live) for it. I want to believe strongly enough in the power of love that I believe it can change the world. I want to understand what it means to love my enemies. I want peace that passes understanding.

Anyway, that’s where I am right now. Don’t know where it’s going, if anywhere, but it’s what I felt like writing about.

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Written by blogicalinks

March 3, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Seeking, Sharing

5 Responses

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  1. Thank you for writing about it. Some of the things you’ve touched on are perhaps the hardest things for a lot of folks to even begin to get a grasp on. I’d love to have a conversation about all of this with you at some point, because I think it would be beneficial for me to hear someone else’s point of view. I have found my own faith taking a winding road in the past few years, from being strong to thinking I was totally ignorant to being led by guilt and threats to a renewal and comfort. Maybe my own faith journey might be of interest/help to yours.

    Eric Kaplan

    March 4, 2008 at 11:02 am

  2. Wow. There’s a lot here. And I can relate in many ways although I still feel pretty strong in my spiritual state. Still your post made me think again about the “If grace is true” book I blogged about recently and how much it impacted me in regards to these topics.

    hmm. I think that I want to reflect more on the words “cold theology”. I totally dig that phrase and think there are some great blog posts just in what that means.

    titration

    March 4, 2008 at 11:21 am

  3. Your post is very honest and real. I like that. I can see you’re trying to work things out through your words. I struggle with the thinking/feeling part regarding God as well. There are times, such as when I am in nature or when I witness a kind act, that I am overwhelmed with the feeling and knowing of God’s presence. Although these experiences feel like rare gems in a world with so much cruelty at times. I don’t have the answers. You said your spirituality is stirring. Maybe you’ve found a few gems. Savor them.

    Donna

    March 5, 2008 at 10:00 am

  4. I agree with Donna in that your honesty is intriguing and a beautiful thing. I also struggle with religion at times. I don’t have the answers either, but I just want to say that I appreciate the kind person you are whether there is a big man upstairs taking notes or not. 😉

    Carmen

    March 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm

  5. It’s rare to find someone like you Cheryl, a deep thinker and a kind person in one. Maybe that’s what sends you on such spiritual journeys. I find your thoughts are enriching to read.

    I’m not one to identify myself as Christian, so maybe I shouldn’t comment on such things, but I think Jesus had a pretty simple concept that’s really hard to follow. He was all about loving one another, and for some reason thousands of years of theological arguments have followed. I try to stay out of them. The loving others completely is way more work than I could ever master in my lifetime.

    Cara

    March 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm


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