While yesterday’s post needs no elaboration, I might share how the story affects me and why it will always be special.
By the time you get to the end of that story (A Single Ember) know that is how I have felt for awhile now. I raised my girl going to church and volunteering at least 3 times a week, but we have not attended anywhere regularly since living in CA. Church life has been sporadic to say the least, but I’ve been feeling the pull and desire to go back more than ever again, especially since we have finally found a place to settle down in. The point remains however, that I have fallen away, regardless of the reasons why or the excuses I might give.
That stubborn, prideful part of me has wanted to maintain that I won’t lose my faith nor, will it weaken just because I might not attend church for awhile, but I fear I have been experiencing first hand the dangers in thinking like that. We are molded by what we read and listen to, the things we do, and the people we choose to hang out with. It is a concept that I have been trying to teach my daughter for her entire life – whatever you feed yourself, you will become. Spirituality is no different.
The blind leading the blind.
Before I decided what I believed in and what I was going to choose to put my faith in, I studied different world religions for a few years. My philosophy went something like this: the core of most religions agree on some of the same basic principles and share some of the same basic beliefs, such as there being a Higher Power, etc.
So, I thought the wisest position to be in was on the fence, where I could be agreeable with everyone and disagree with no one. I chose to take the parts which I believed true from each origin and apply them, while ignoring all the rest. Therefore, I also wouldn’t commit to serve any particular church or denomination.
Then a very dear friend made a comment one day which really made me think. She said that the only problem with what I was doing is that basically I was relying on my own wisdom to guide and lead my soul. She also commended me (tongue in cheek) about taking such a safe position way up there in the middle of the fence line.
Don’t be so busy, you miss the point.
It is wise to gather as much information as we can before forming our opinions, but if gathering is all we do, than we are sure to miss out on most of the lesson (the point). The lessons come to us through life’s experiences and in our relationships with others.
It is important and healthy to find out what other people’s perspectives and ideas are, allowing room for discussion and lots of questions. It helps us see things beyond our own narrow viewpoint and from different angles. Then we can be sure we are making the most informed decision possible that will be best for us and our loved ones.
As a bit of a side note: I still have a difficult time concerning all the separations within the church. I think different denominations came about, because man took the Bible and while they may have agreed on the basics, they decided or understood ‘this or that’ to be different, so they branched off and called themselves another name. It seems ridiculous.
Time to re-ignite!
I am not on the fence anymore. I know what I believe and the things I need to do to keep my faith strong. Going back to church is one of them. For each time I fall away, I slide further and further from the truth and what I know to be right within my soul. The old saying, “use it or lose it” applies here as well in regards to faith and prayer. I have been trying to fight and do too much on my own again when there is no need. No wonder I am so tired! It is time to re-ignite the fire before this ember loses all of its glow.
(I appreciate your patience as I’m obviously processing some more – I’d love to hear you thoughts!)
- A Single Ember (jessiejeanine.com)