Sunday, August 09, 2009

Back to God

All of my posts over the last 13 months have really been about baby Lucy but I am hoping to write a little about God today. Having a baby has made Dave and I do a lot of talking about God and all things spiritual. I guess a new little being will have that affect on you...make you evaluate everything. I've been thinking about my college career and studying the Bible. I graduated with a Bachelor's of Religious Education and an Associate of Arts-I did all that studying I guess so that I could have a career in what evangelicals call "the ministry." Although I loved my job as far as working with people and caring for them in their every day life, I hated the organization and leadership aspects of the church. So now having been out of ministry for over a year-I have just a couple thoughts.

*I am still paying for a college loan which gave me a degree that you could poop on in this job market. I had a great experience and made a lot of great friends, but I'm not sure how practical that major really is.

**Having studied all that Bible and taken Greek and Hebrew you might think I'm some sort of scholar, but really I am not. I don't know any more about the Bible than most people. The best experiences I've had with God have nothing to do with Greek or Hebrew.

***I used to think that it was important to answer the unknowns: Why is there suffering? Why do people get cancer? Does God send people to burn in hell? Now I don't really care. I guess I don't believe I'm ever going to know those answers this side of eternity, so what's the point. And if God did show me some sort of answer would it change the way I live here? I'm not sure it would. I'm trying to make the most of every day regardless of the answers.

****I've come to think that church is a very social place, and really enjoy the people I meet there. I also enjoy the encouragement we get from people who are in the same life circumstances as us. I just don't have a desire to go at all. I'm sure that condemns me to hell in some eyes. I don't have complaints about the preachers or the music, I just don't want to go. I'm not sure I'll get through this, maybe it's a phase. Dave and I are trying to live in community with others-sharing all things in common and so far this is going well.

*****I think I'm almost through the mess I made of myself, getting my ego stroked through ministry. That's right you read correctly but whether someone be outright arrogant, or insecure like me, ministry can fill that void for a while. I'm done using people to make me feel good about myself, it's empty and meaningless. Wherever I go there I am, so I'm learning to change me!!!

******Right now, I think about how to teach Lucy to be a caring, compassionate, responsible human being. I want her to know she was created and prayed for-that she is valuable. I want her to know that she is the best gift we've been given and we are trying to raise her as a gift to be shared with the world-no matter what she chooses to do with her life. I don't want her to feel the spiritual pressure I felt, and so we begin a new journey. Raising a spiritual child outside the walls of the church. What shall we do without Sunday school? (I won't lie she'll still probably go to VBS-it's so cool these days!-call me a hypocrite I know I am).

6 comments:

Tammy said...

excellent post. the question about how to raise the kids ... that's an interesting one. my daughter would say you are on the right track. she didn't appreciate at all being a PK.

Karin said...

I appreciate your honesty. I think people get things mixed up sometimes. Personally, I think Church is important in the sense that it keeps you accountable in a way. But I think it comes down to just loving Jesus. That's what I want to teach Piper~ to strip away the shananagans that go with religion and just love Jesus.

mother teresa said...

Very good Julie. I read a good book by Amy Grant and she was asked by people if she was concerned with the lack of 'church' time for her kids due to her traveling, etc. She said she wanted her kids to make up their minds about God/spirituality and not be a clone of her beliefs or trying to 'be' what someone else preached at them.
This kind of freedom can be a good thing.

Jim Schoch said...

3 comments! i bet there were 30 comments people just didnt put here for fear of who will read ... i bet many many more share your thoughts julie girl ... i was waiting for others to chime in since u know already that i am a marked man by those who do not matter :) ... ahhhh well good thoughts u rebel free livin x preacher woman ...

Bruce the Agnostic said...

Julie,

Great post.

You are so right about ego. I was so wrapped up in the Church that it became such a part of me that I had no identity, no self apart from the Church.

Now 5 years later I am still trying to find out who Bruce really is. Some days its ugly. :) The Church fed some deep needs in my life. (good and bad)

You'll know when and if you should go to Church again. Polly and I are your friends whether you are rolling in the aisle or rolling a joint. :)

Bruce

Fred said...

Great post! For some reason we don't question things early enough, I've often thought that education is waisted on the youth. I also think our education system is pretty much a joke, what real counsel do we ever get. Our youthful spirituality grabs us we think that should be our career goal.
Life is a journey with lots of ups and downs and not too much has changed throughout history. I don't think you are a hypocrite at all. Some of my most treasured memories are of vbs days. Thanks for letting me rant a little.