Monday, May 2, 2011

Sometimes a Gal’s Gotta’ Get Serious

I know I’m supposed to be keeping it light and fluffy here on the ol’ Ruled by Bells, but sometimes a gal’s gotta’ get serious. 

It’s Sunday morning, and as I sit here at my computer typing away, I know there are many folks out there who find themselves in the place that they find themselves every Sunday morning…and that place is church.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I can literally count how many times I have been to church…and most of those times have involved a wedding or a funeral. 

I hope I’m not being blasphemous here, because that is certainly not my intent, but I just don’t get religion.  It is simply way too confusing for a simple gal like me.  For example, a good friend of ours is Catholic and believes it is a mortal sin to skip church.  A mortal sin…as in if she misses one week she is going to H-E-double hockey sticks.  I don’t get it…she is a lovely, law-abiding citizen…she is happily married and raising two great kids...she does right by everyone around her, yet according to the way she practices her religion, she will go to you know where if she misses church even one time.  Don’t get me wrong, I admire her dedication and I respect her devotion to her faith…it’s just that I don’t really understand it.   

On the other hand, though, I can see how having a strong faith like hers can help carry a person through difficult times.  Just the other day I was reading a story about a teen-age boy who was in a car accident…his passenger died…that passenger was his dad.  A couple of years ago, the young son of some friends of ours wandered upstairs into an area that was off limits due to construction…he fell to his death…he was nine years old.  When I was a young girl myself, a teenager was driving with her sister and their cousin…she was leading a caravan with her parents behind her…she crashed the car and she, along with her sister and their cousin, died…their parents bearing witness to it all.  Stories like these fill the headlines and make us wonder, Why? If there is a God, then why do these things happen?

At times like these, during tragedies in which you wonder how these people will go on, I think being able to say it was God’s will is probably extremely comforting.  In fact, I think it may be the only way that some people can move on.  When things like this happen…things that cannot be explained with logic, or common sense, or fairness, or justice…I’m sure it is much easier to turn to God and think that it was somehow His will rather than live with the guilt of feeling you could have, and indeed should have, done something to prevent these types of senseless accidents.  That for whatever reason, He wanted it that way and it is, therefore, out of the hands of the people experiencing the tragedy. 

During tragedies like these, I find myself feeling a bit jealous of people who have a strong faith.  I am jealous of people who can turn it over to God and find peace.  Personally, I get lost in the logistics of religion.  I get lost in the randomness of it.  I get lost in the Why did this horrible thing happen to this wonderful family?  Why did this horrible thing happen to any family at all?  Why is missing one day of church a one-way ticket to hell, despite of lifetime of goodness and rightness?  Religion simply confuses me.

This confusion is what keeps me from religion.  It’s not that I don’t believe in God, but it’s not that I believe in Him, either.  Does that even make sense?  What’s it called when a person doesn’t really believe, but wants to?  Agnostic with a twist?  I don’t know.  I really don’t even begin to know.

What I do know is that any discussion of religion yields more questions than answers.  What I do know is that I am not at all comfortable in churches and/or around really religious people.  What I do know is that I would love to learn about religion, truly I would, but it would have to be from someone who was willing to educate me, not change me.  And finally, what I do know is that I have been way too serious today and I promise not to do it again…well, at least not for a while anyway.


  1. Stopped by to read your post from TRDC and just kept reading through this one.

    Makes me sad as a person of faith, but I think your's is a common experience of people who don't come from a church background. There is a tendency to think of religion and faith as the same thing. They aren't. Religion has to do with the rules and expectations for behavior that people put into place as a result of trying to live a life that would please God. Often these rules are rigid and lack true meaning in terms of what Jesus taught....things like skip a Sunday/go to hell. That has very little to do with faith. Faith is about accepting that though you may not always "get" why things happen as they do, you trust that God has the bigger picture in His sights and that He has the best in mind for you. Not trying to get preachy. Your words just touched me.

  2. Hi May,
    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate your insights. Too bad we can't sit down and have a cup of coffee together. I think I could learn a lot from you!
    Thanks again for reading.