I have been waking up to a deep sense of regret, or guilt, that I could not put a finger on, almost every morning since I was in my teens. When I was deeper into Christianity, it was still there. I prayed of it often, and somehow, the guilt comforted me, because even though I didn't know what it was for, I knew I still had a conscience, and that was of The Lord, although "guilt" is not. Then I would feel guilty for the guilt, and so on.
It ate away at me, and recently, more so than ever.
Have I killed anyone? no
Have I lied? of coarse, but try to be honest
Do I sin? yes, and that is inevitable
I accept that.
Did I question God's existence? No, I always knew he was real. I always knew he had an eye on me. I always talked to him,freely. Even though it wasn't taught to me that I SHOULD, I did.
Truth be told, I never had a "fear" of him, like so many should or did.
I looked to him, like a father.
The more I studied, the more I did NOT understand. The more questions that I could NOT answer for unbelievers. So many things were contradictory, and given "just because" is not an answer I can give.
I know how wonderful Christianity can be, but I also know how terrible it can turn if people are misinformed. I suppose it is the same way with Muslims and their religion. We all have our "kool-aid camps, or Al Quieda" <ms> embarrassing extremists, right?
That is why I choose not to point a finger.
You know what is really sad? I didn't want Obama to win, because of what my church said, not my own PERSONAL beliefs. I set aside MY beliefs, what I felt right in MY heart, to beliefs on gay marriage,religion,etc. that I did not understand. I finally got real with myself, about that, and chose to plead the 5th when asked about those topics, holding to the EXTREME abortion that Obama would allow. I am Pro-Life, to a degree, but that is a WHOLE new post.
Anyways, I was one day arguing with a Muslim friend over something political, and it somehow changed into religion. (real "Christ-Like" of me to be arguing, isn't it?) I (without telling him) was going to give him a quote from the Bible, when I decided tore-read about the Golden Cow. Great story. Then I searched it online. It was documented in different religion's, BC. What? Are you serious? It supposably derived from the Koran first? No way..... A Christian would say that, is the Devils work.
I am not denouncing Christ or the fact that he is miraculous, and I am not trying to be blasphemous, but maybe I am. And I am sure Guilt will plague me later.
I told my Muslim friend (Anthony) of this story, and all he could do was laugh. We were both being taught the same values, yet from different books, and somehow, many of the people who share our beliefs hate the opposite religion. It makes no sense.
I somehow understand my Grandfathers choice to be agnostic (not my parents,though), but I also understand why he prayed to Jesus right before he died.
People just dont pray to Buddha when they are in a car wreck. We need something to hold onto.
Actually, many Buddhists (not all) don't view Buddhism as a "religon" , but more as a philosophy to live by.
We all search for something positive to live by.
This weekend, I asked Vicki what she lived by, if she wasn't religious. I was telling her (and she patiently listened) about my doubts and about how I found so many of Buddha's quotes inspirational, and that Christianity upset me, because I wasn't supposed to have a statue of Buddha in my house or try to live by his quotes, as long as I wasnt praying to him, but I could have a picture of Abraham Lincoln and George Washingtons head on a statue and that was alright. I could quote Martin Luther King, or Ellenor Roosevelt and make blankets that had their quotes all over them. I was talking to her about my doubts, and how I wanted to teach my daughter so many great things about her Cherokee Indian ancestors but wondered what I needed to omit for the sake of "Christianity", although it wouldn't hurt her. She pretty much said this to me :
"When I wake up, I feel blessed by all of this beauty, and I find the wisdom of someone who can find beauty in a single blade of grass so inspirational. I believe that religion isn't always wrong or right and that as long as it teaches you to be a better person, to live humbly, accept others, be peaceful, and to not depend on the "things" of this world, to be loving, kind and gentle, pray to who you wish."
I asked her if she was agnostic, she said "no, honey....I've been a Buddhist for over 25 years"
I had no idea.
She was patient and listened to me talk about Christianity for years.
She believed in "paying it forward", yet, never once talked about her source of inner peace.
That night when after we were unloading the car, I noticed a Buddha statue at the very top of her bookshelf in her livingroom, a living room I have been to hundreds of times. I said nothing, just smiled. (they are supposed to be at the highest place in the room, even if out of sight)
I noticed a quote in a picture frame in her husbands (a man who is soooo kind and decent and noble, I love to call him a friend too!) office, that said this:
"He who stands on tiptoe
doesn't stand form
He who rushes ahead
doesn't go far
He who tries to shine
dims his own light
He who defines himself
can't know who he really is."
It was neat insight.
I asked the UPS man, what made him in such a great mood everyday when he comes in,today, and he said "The Bible says "talk good things into happening", I'm sorry I am paraphrasing"
and I said "no, it's okay, I was taught about that, it's called "speaking into existence", you can do that with good or bad things, that's why we have to watch the power of our tongues".
He was surprised I knew.
It's not that I am "Oh, ye of little faith". I BELIEVE God has blessed me in abundance, and catch myself talking to him throughout the day. But I believe in Astrology, and am inspired by Buddha, and think meditation is great! I love the stories of the book, as guides, but don't believe them all. I know there is something that has held me tight, and watches over me, and I feel that it is MY FATHER,God...but it hurts to think that it has to be so black and white. I can not believe that a small child goes to hell for what it is taught, I can not believe that our God, would LET children be molested in places of worship. I believe in ghosts, and that some people have preminitions, and that they arent evil (as some, NOT ALL churches would tell). I just have a hard time with some things, and the only way to be sure, is to learn what works for ME, not what I am supposed to believe.
He who is not for me is against me?
You can't worship two Gods?
I am for him, and I dont worship anyone else.
I can understand the confusion. I really can.
All I can say to this, is.........................read the quote above. I should have earlier.