Friday, April 14, 2006

What Do You Believe?

Faith is an iffy sort of thing. Faith is what keeps us waking up in the morning and allows us to sleep at night. But faith is very different than religion. Faith is the core belief in something or someone more powerful than yourself. Religion is the social trappings of faith as interpreted by man. I like to think that I have faith, in God, in my Family, in myself. But I don't consider myself religious. Not any more. I used to be very religious. Mass on Sunday, fasting, teaching CCD the works. But at some point between the disdain of certain Bible Belt Religions and the truly tragic problems in my own church, I just don't feel like I belong. I go when my Mom comes to town. I go on holidays, but there's not a real connection. I wish I had that. I wish that my kids had felt more connected to something spiritual growing up. But the Catholic Church didn't offer much for teenagers when my kids were in high school. Their friends went off to church camp and choir and other activities, but for our kids there was just this void. They were neither fish nor fowl. Other kids would ask them if they were Christian, claiming that our status was questionable in the eyes of some denominations. My daughter had even been told she was going to hell, by a Sunday School Teacher's daughter. Is this really what was meant by The Word? That we would belittle and betray each other but fool ourselves into thinking we were "saved" simply because we said the right words and showed up every Sunday? Shouldn't there be more to faith than that? I am discouraged with the world. I am not a person that seeks people to dislike, but I see and hear so much of what my Mom calls "meanness". It's as if only our skin color and our car model determines our fate in life. I have tried to raise my kids to seek the truth behind the person, but honestly, they have had a hard time finding people that they can trust. I dont' know who to trust any more. Sometimes it seems like I am bearing the world on my shoulders. I wish my trust was stronger or that I didn't need such clear truth in order to follow. But sadly, I am just not that willing to trust. I've been hurt too much and I am just so afraid that everything I know is wrong. Maybe it's just a bad time of day, or a bad time of year. Or a bad time to be alive. I just need something to change. I need the world to change because fear is an awful tyrant to live with. And faith is fragile at best.

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