Saturday, June 18, 2011

The 50 Cent Tour

What would you do if the President of the United States personally called you on the phone and invited you to come and see the White House? You'd be pretty excited, right? Feel pretty important that he, himself called to request your presence? Get all primped and prepped, looking your best for your introduction? Now what if, when you arrived at the White House, you learned you were simply being thrown in on the 50 cent tour with every other DC tourist? And, you still had to pay your own admission.

I have my issues with God. They are plentiful. I'm not going to claim they are logical. And I will not say they really have anything to do with Him, per se.

My father is essentially an athiest. Non-declared, as far as I know but made his position pretty clear. My mother threw herself into the church when I was a child. I think she felt it was her only hope to save her marriage and perhaps her sanity. She dragged me along for the ride.

Some pretty un-God-ly things have happened in my life and I get that "into each life a little rain must fall." I get that "that which does not kill us makes us stronger." I don't really ask why events of my life occurred the way they did. I accept that it all happened for a purpose. I'm still not entirely clear what it is....but so be it.

In my late teens/early 20's, I was a hot mess. I hadn't faced my abusive past. I was running around, drinking, partying, promiscuous, irresponsible and flat out putting myself in grave danger. There was a Sunday morning that I woke up and knew, without shadow of doubt, that God was speaking to me. I realized I was on a destructive path and I was compelled to get myself to church that very morning and turn my life around. That was the presidential invitation to the White House. And the 50 cent tour followed. I don't understand how I felt so called only to then feel so lost immediately thereafter. What was the point? Why call me here and then throw me into the crowd on my own?

I can intellectualize my God issues. I mean, first and foremost, he's a Father. THE Father, for heaven's sake. I shy away from fathers in my life as best I can. Experience has been a harsh teacher.

Secondly, and this is an odd one to verbalize because I believe in God but, what if it's all crap? I mean...where did the bible really come from? Who really interpreted it? How do we know if everything that is being taught is really what was intended? There are many faiths throughout the world and they all believe theirs is the only truth. So how do I know I'm onto the right one? At the end of the day, in church, it's regular people delivering the message in their own words. How do we know they are the right and true words?

Third, there is this whole trust and vulnerability business. Trust God. Really? Trust an entity that, yes I believe in but, I cannot see or experience in any tangible way. Give Him my worries? That is crazy talk. I cling to my worries. Why give them over to something I am so unsure about? Give up control?? Agh. I mean, just shoot me now if you're going to ask me to do that. Can't we CO-control, God? Baby steps for this retentive freak?? A little teamwork, Sir? I am afraid to even talk to Him because I question the validity of the whole situation. I am hesitant to put it in black and white but I don't want to put my energy and faith into something that turns out to be false. And again, I stress that I do believe in God but I just am not sure in what capacity.

We've started going to a new church because I want to face and explore these issues. It's the perfect place for me because it's not a nicey-nice, low key, pleasant, hear the short generic sermon & then run out to Sunday brunch type of church. This is a community of faith and fellowship. It's a pastor who is passionate and not afraid to challenge his parishoners. We've been there twice and I've been moved to tears both times. I've felt the discomfort of having my walls rumbled. I've looked on at people openly, unabashedly expressing their faith while I sit, legs crossed, arms crossed, tightly protected.

I am not certain if I feel that God's promises don't really exist or just don't exist for me. I am not sure I feel worthy of love, forgiveness, answered prayer. I don't pray. I am very closed off to it. Every time I do it, I feel like I'm speaking to no one and being a ridiculous fool.

I feel this is the right time and right place for me to be but I've felt that before and been left with more questions than answers. I hope that I am able to open up and start to see things in a different light.

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