I’ve often commented on my religious background. If you haven’t read those posts here is the short:
-Born and raised in a Black, southern, Christian home
-Attended church 4-5 times a week
-Gave my first sermon at age 13 at a Men’s Day
-Often referred to as a minister when I was young
-Have over 13 different types of bibles
-Mother is a minister
So, I guess one would question why I’ve ever questioned if there is a God. After being raised in a home where we spent more time in school and church than home, it is a question to me why people question if I believed that there was a God. My question became, if there is a God and he created our lives, why do we have to spend most of our lives in a church constantly praising him. Isn’t true praise living the life that he gave us to live?
Well, my brain did not think that deeply at age 10, but the sentiment still stands. And, I’ve been thinking a great deal about God lately. I don’t know if its because I’m getting older or if its because I’ve studied so many different religions and I’ve studied how religion was used to enslave Africans in this country and continues to enslave Black people in the 21st century, but God for me is a big question mark right now.
That question mark used to stand for his existence. But, I’ve begin to realize the sanity in something that was told to me when I was a teenager. I asked an adult, I do not remember who the adult was, but the message resonated for years–well, clearly, if I’m writing about it now. Pay attention, because it is going to seem as if this quote doesn’t relate at all.
I was questioning this adult about why we tell our kids fairy tales and make them believe in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy and all the other make believe bullshit. And, her response (I do remember it being a woman) said, “…if we do not allow our children to believe in things that they cannot see such as the characters in these stories and holidays, then how do we begin to shape their minds to believe in God?”
You know me, the narcissist that I am, and I in so many words, but being respectful, told her she was full of shit. I told her that because I had been grounded at an early age to believe in God, but at an early age had made the decision that there were no such things as Santa Clause and the tooth fairy. But, as an adult, I understand what she was TRYING to say.
Amd, as an adult, I have to begin to wonder about the nuances of this spirit we call God, creator of the heavens and earth. The one I’ve been questioning most is, “are we predestined to do certain things or do we make our own choices and God supports whatever choices we decide to make in our lives?”
Now, of course, I know God doesn’t want us to be crack addicts who sit on the side of the road asking for handouts that include things that make our used cups jiggle, (or does he?) but how do we make decisions about career and love and life if we are not sure if we are taking the right path.
I’ve often felt confident about being in education and non-profit. I’ve always felt like this is what God wants me to do with the rest of my life because when I’ve tried other paths it never works out, but for some reason, when I put myself back into this arena I am always successful. Well, yeah, I guess, successful. But, there are other professional experiences that I would like to have and when I began to pursue those career goals it has always been difficult to break in those industries.
So, I then question God. Are you opening doors for me in this arena because this is where you want me to be or were you closing doors in other arenas to test how badly I wanted those career opportunities?
Being down with the big G.O.D. can be so confusing because you are relying upon answers from a spirit who will not come down and stand in front of you to give you answers. You have to determine your own fate based upon signs, messages, dreams, etc. And, then, I begin to say, well, I’ll just be an atheist where I know its all about self-sufficiency, but I’ve been trained to rely upon the most high.
Too bad he’s so high I can’t reach him directly.
As we navigate through our lives we learn about ourselves and we learn how we function in our relationship with our God. And, I’ve asked God time and time again, if you are going to give me a message you have to tell me directly because I can have a bird land on the sidewalk in front of me and figure it is a sign from the heavens to move on to the next thing, when in honesty, I needed to sit and wait patiently. Or, I can talk to someone and think that God is using them as a vessel to get a message to me when in reality the words I spoke was a message for them.
Being down with G.O.D. is a constant struggle, but you know my favorite quote, “without struggle there is no progress.” Just pray that all this damn struggling gets me to a progressive state.