Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On Faith

One day it just came to me. Maybe organized religion is for me, or maybe not. My view on this is wishy-washy at best. The last time I was in church was almost 9 months ago. My excuse on stopping the last time was the H1N1 outbreak. I was pregnant then and I didn't want to be in a place where I could catch it easily. Now that I am not pregnant anymore and the dreaded virus is no longer a health threat, my almost 5-month old baby becomes my alibi. Due to the Easter holiday and and having glanced at the movie Ten Commandments, I recently started pondering again on my spiritual direction or (more appropriately) mis-direction.

I considered myself religious from age 14 to 23. As a teen, I struggled with chronic depression and identity crisis. Attending church gave me temporary relief from my so-called suffering. Then, I came to the United States. I was initially excited to look for a "home" church but I immediately was overwhelmed by so much choices. I believe that there is a church in every other corner of this country. I attended several Protestant, Evangelical and Catholic churches. I find church people to be mostly friendly and welcoming but I just did not feel I belong to any that I visited so far. Lately, I tend to choose mega churches for anonymity. Then, there's my husband who was born and raised atheist. He never stops nor criticizes me from attending; he even accompanies me so I don't feel lonely.

Marrying an atheist is an eye-opener. I believe that I am more open minded and see the world differently since knowing him. My husband is the epitome of contentment and decency. I learned from him that you don't need religion to be morally upright.

As a Christian, it was a taboo to doubt the existence of God or even ask the age-old question "If God is good, how can He let innocent people suffer?" Christians offer different explanations but nothing is intellectually gratifying.

Each Sunday morning, upon hearing the hymn time on the radio, I can get overcome by guilt for not going to a service but once I get to the church, I wish to be somewhere else. My mind constantly wanders.

When I think about my son, I start thinking about spirituality. Should I raise him with religion? Should I teach him about Christian faith? Or, is it a form of brain washing?

I was showering one day. It was one rare time that I was able to linger because my husband was with the baby. I started to sing and without thinking about it I was singing a Christian song about knowing Jesus. Tears started to flow and it felt really good.


geri said...

Loraine, it must be "brainwashing" I have had since I was born but I just can NOT imagine a life without God - it gives me comfort that He is there especially in trying times.

As for religion I remember when college when Maranatha was the craze among the students and a lot of them cutting ties with Catholicism I remember one teacher said, "Before thinking of transferring to another religion get to know your religion first." Thus I may not be happy with our priests (esp in those in the Philippines) or disagree with my church still what the teacher made sense to me and since I am up to my neck with mundane things I just don't have the time to "delve" into it deeper and besides I am happy with our parish here.

On the other hand though I find that a lot of devout christians/religious people are those who also have low tolerance for other people who do not share their beliefs and oftentimes exhibit unchristianlike behaviour.

malor said...

Hi Geri, Thanks for a good comment. I am not sure if I did the "right" thing writing about my spiritual predicament. The "brain washing" description of religion came from my MIL. At times, I try to be an atheist but it is not for me. I know that I cannot probably intellectually prove the existence of God to an atheist but I know in my heart that those miracles that happened in my life can only come from a Higher Power. I accepted the fact that I am weak, tired, broken, not totally in control and vulnerable. And I need God.

Regarding intolerant christians /religious people, I was one of those. I am thankful that my mind is more open.