Confessions of a Reluctant Faithful Person
I have to confess something that I’m sort of ashamed about: I got mad at God and decided that I didn’t believe in Him anymore.
Now those of you who know me and/or have read my column these past six years know that I’m a woman of faith, although I can be rather flawed in my demonstration of that. About two weeks ago I decided that I was tired, that things weren’t going my way and decisions that I thought I had made based on my faith-walk were not going well – that is they weren’t turning out the way I thought they should. To my mind, then, logically God didn’t exist and therefore I should rely solely on myself.
Let me tell you that I discovered a couple of things: 1. You can’t turn faith on and off like a faucet. I think my faith is actually part of my DNA; I can’t “remove” it. 2. I don’t get to have all the facts. Part of the whole faith thing is that you sometimes have to walk blindly not knowing where your foot will land. I liken it to the Indiana Jones movie where Indiana Jones has to step off a ledge apparently into thin air. But there’s a bridge stretching across the chasm that he cannot discern until he makes that “leap of faith.” Very cool. 3. Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t make it so. For example, if I didn’t “believe” in electricity, would my lights no longer turn on? There’s a funny line a comedian used in his act that I once heard. Upon his death, he ends up in heaven and says to God: “They told me in college you were BS.” So just because you choose not to believe doesn’t mean it ain’t so. (Of course, that line of thinking might also be used in the reverse: just because you do believe in something doesn’t make it so. Hmmm.) 4. Finally – I don’t understand how it all works.
I’m just going to try my best.
I have another confession. I didn’t know there were similarities between the Christian faith and Islam.
I attended Sunday night’s “Religious Extremism: Conversation & Collaboration” hosted by the Islamic Congregation of La Cañada Flintridge and La Cañada Presbyterian Church and held at the Presbyterian Church. I was impressed so many people attended the conversation, obviously hoping to learn what makes extremists (Muslim, Christian, whatever) bent on destroying others. Though no clear answer was offered (is there one anyway?) I did learn some interesting things from the discussion. Both faiths believe that there is only one God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe; that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin – therefore Jesus was born miraculously; that people should follow the Ten Commandments and the moral teachings of the prophets; and Jesus Christ is the Messiah and He performed miracles.
While there are difference, too, these seem to be substantial similarities.
There will be more on this event in next week’s CV Weekly,