Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Looking for signs and other nonsense

I went to see a movie recently and noticed how much focus there was on signs and luck and meant to be's.   I was wondering...  do people really buy this? It is just a big joke that I may be mistaking for something a bit serious?

For me as a Christian, it was a very serious thing.  What was God's Will? Was this in His Divine Purpose?  Lately I have been refusing to entertain such ideas, opting rather to use reason and good sense to try to make decisions.

Regardless, lately as we are trying to purchase a house, so many people have said things to me such as "if it's God's will" or "it could be a sign" or even "if it's meant to be."  And I think how amazing it is that people really think this way.  It just goes into my understanding of peoples use of faith and supernatural possibilities to explain the uncontrollable or undesirable things in life.  If it works out..  great!  If it doesn't then God must have had a better plan.

I have always thought this way.  Perhaps I thought this way up until reality smacked me in the face and I had to admit that as far as I could tell, leaving it in God's hands was not working.

Praying with my own children and speaking with children of friends of mine I realize how much what we teach them about faith truly molds their world view.  They worry about demons and angels.  They really love Jesus and Mary.  It is starting to really bother me that faith blows simple problems out of proportion and gives eternal significance to average experiences.

My latest dilemma is that all of my old Catholic friends are finally starting a family support group and my husband wants to go and I could really use getting together with other moms and such...  but how do I go to a faith group when I refuse to have faith right now???

It is just torturing myself?  Is it prolonging the healing process? It seems to me like it is probably just ripping open a scab.  I think I need to have friendships that are not based on faith, but it is easy to jump into these types of groups.


MaiZeke said...

Oh, wow, I feel exactly the same way. I am also a recovering Catholic (though I left the church at a much earlier age). But now that I have young children, I'm searching for a community and having a little trouble. I've tried the local humanist society but the closest I've come is my book club. There have been articles in the paper about a few 'churches' in Europe where a secular/humanist group has taken over the church building and holds weekly services, but with none of the imaginari-ness that you describe in this post. I think if we want a community like that here, groups are going to have to do a lot of work - but we can do it!

fRED said...

Signs and movies - Have you seen the old Jim Carrey movie, "Bruce Almight"? I think it is a terrific movie, and has several scenes about "signs" from God. Worth a watch.

Years ago when I was contemplating marriage, I wanted to know if such a choice was God's will for me. My mother had frequently told us of how when she was pondering marriage to my father, she received a "sign from God" via the appearance of white roses. As I considered what kind of sign I should request from God, it occurred to me that the orientation of the question would likely influence the answer. In other words, if I asked for a sign that I should marry, I would probably see such a sign; conversely, if I asked for a sign that I should not marry, I'd probably see a sign for that. So I chucked that whole concept and kept going (10 years later she divorced me-that was a clear sign).

After I left the RC Church, I went to a Baptist church for several years in order to expose my elementary school son to Christianity/religion. However, I did not consider my self a Christian (at least in the orthodox sense). I tried to be discreet and low key about my belief (i.e., I didnt confront or challenge) and quietly fit in. After they realized I was not going to get baptized (again), they essentially ignored me (and my son). After a few years, all the talk about "our Lord and Savior, Jesus!" got to be too much for me to take.

Then I started attending a weekly men's Bible study at a RC church. I don't think anyone guessed that I was not a practicing RC (if they did, they didn't say anything). This was a nice group and I found that they often had the same doubts I had - but not the courage to face reality. I was involved with this group for several years until I moved. I really miss them.

Regarding community, I have given up on churches. Christian churches are too Jesusee; liberal churches are sooo have such broad beliefs that they are essentially secular (so what is the point then?); Jewish is too foreign for my background (and too hung up on rules), and non-christian churches are too off culturally for me to be a regular member.

My Sunday mornings are now spent at my son's roller hockey games. I enjoy chatting with other parents and relate to them as well as any I did at church. For the most part, these are decent people-I can't imagine them being condemned to eternal suffering just because they skipped Sunday service. I'd have mercy on them.

Some people like to connect with joggers/runners/bicyclists/hikers for a Sunday morning commune with nature. Actually, it was connecting with many good, decent (non-churchy)people in these kind of organizations or gatherings that made it easier for me to leave the church. Nothing special about Sunday either.