Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Saint Louis, MO
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I'm sooooooo frustrated right now. I just want to throw in the towel on religion completely.
I grew up without religion at home, but I have been on a spiritual quest for as long as I can remember. But I can never seem to make it work. I don't know if it's that I just suck and have no ability to commit to anything or if it's just that I hate limiting my options.
The second I start to feel at home and comfortable spiritually I'm drawn in a whole other direction. I am a classic Gemini constantly thinking, always wanting to talk, able to argue both sides of an argument even if I don't even believe the other side. I never manage to truly believe anything for very long. At the moment when I believe something, I truly do but I can't maintain it because there is always another side to consider and then I run with that. I can't turn it off. I'm ready to just give up.
Thanks cherrybomb, yes I think I understand a theological teaching and then something happens and I no longer get it at all. It's been one step forward two steps back.
One thing I wonder is if you have found the - I guess I'll say the method that is most important for you in your connection to God?
I think we all connect through different parts of our humanity - some through the senses come to the Divine, some have an emotional connection. Some people are mystics, some (like me) connect through reason. We all have all of these facilities and need to learn to use them, but one or two are usually stronger than the others.
But sometimes we don't seem to supply what is needed for us to make spiritual progress. We might rely to heavily on our dominant method and neglect the others. Or in some cases we even neglect the dominant one if we have never had the support to learn to use it well.
So I am thinking - when you try out a religious path, what does that mean? Prayer, emotional investment, physical or mental disciplines, study (and what kind of study?) Perhaps a different approach might give you more to explore.
On a totally different note, religion is a bit like being in love. At the beginning, hormones keep it interesting. But eventually you will have dry or difficult times, when you have to decide to maintain the relationship, even though it may feel like a chore, or simply uninspiring. And there is value added just by that commitment itself .
|I think I can safely say I never put my dilemma before God. I never knelt down before Him and said, “Please help me with this.” I failed to perceive Him as a source of creative solutions to one’s personal problems. I failed to see Him as a Person of Infinite Compassion. My religious mind was an authoritarian mind, and once I found myself at odds with God, I couldn’t speak to Him. I couldn’t question Him. Instead I made decisions about Him. And they amounted to rejection of His existence, and a determination to face the world with a new courage which seemed right.|
|In the moment of surrender, I let go of all the theological or social questions which had kept me from Him for countless years. I simply let them go. There was the sense, profound and wordless, that if He knew everything I did not have to know everything, and that, in seeking to know everything, I’d been, all of my life, missing the entire point. No social paradox, no historic disaster, no hideous record of injustice or misery should keep me from Him. No question of Scriptural integrity, no torment over the fate of this or that atheist or gay friend, no worry for those condemned and ostracized by my church or any other church should stand between me and Him. The reason? It was magnificently simple: He knew how or why everything happened; He knew the disposition of every single soul. He wasn’t going to let anything happen by accident! Nobody was going to go to Hell by mistake. This was His world, all this! He had complete control of it; His justice, His mercy—were not our justice or our mercy. What folly to even imagine such a thing. I didn’t have to know how He was going to save the un-lettered and the unbaptized, or how He would redeem the conscientious heathen who had never spoken His name. I didn’t have to know how my gay friends would find their way to Redemption; or how my hardworking secular humanist friends could or would receive the power of His Saving Grace. I didn’t have to know why good people suffered agony or died in pain. He knew. And it was His knowing that overwhelmed me, His knowing that became completely real to me, His knowing that became the warp and woof of the Universe which He had made.|
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