Is That All There Is? A Sunday Reflection………..

Sunday Prayers

Sunday Prayers (Photo credit: Steven Leith)

 I was brought up to go to church. First I went to Sunday school—then I graduated to actually going to church and “listening” to the sermon. I became a Sunday School teacher. The President of Mission Circle Girls. A member of the choir (though to this day I cannot carry a tune in a tin pail—but they needed warm bodies). Then I went off to university and went to a few masses with my Catholic friends even though I was not Catholic. It was rather exotic for a girl who had attended a Protestant country church. But I liked the rituals, the incense, the kneeling–even though they were foreign to me.

                After I turned twenty I did not go to church for about 25 years. I still prayed but mostly for good stuff to happen and for someone who was sick. I still believed though I was not sure what it was I believed. In fact, during those years I was perfectly happy. I was in a sort of vacuum. I was a constant seeker, but with a more intellectual bent than with my heart and soul.

                I went back to my country church for a while and was received with open arms and open hearts. I loved the feeling of community—I liked the Minister’s message, and I liked being a part of something. But I became too big a part—I joined too many things and tried to do too much, and I burned out. I stopped going to church because I was no longer able to just go and hear the message—I was too busy being a Sunday School teacher, a youth leader, a member of the Church’s women’s group…………..and on and on.

                I returned to my vacuum, but I returned as a more faithful believer in something bigger than myself. I am still a seeker. I went back to church one more time—but it was no longer for me–and though I love the people at that church, I quit again.

                I call myself a seeker as I guess I am not totally satisfied with the answers. But some of the answers I have sought out make sense to me. Sometimes I think it is easier to not believe than to believe. But I am just stubborn enough to believe in something I cannot touch, taste, smell, or see. But I can feel it. And I know there is something bigger than me. And I believe. It seems to come naturally.

                 I believe in a good God—not a violent, jealous, or vengeful God. And I believe that Jesus did walk the earth, and he did have a message, and the simple message is: *“this is not all there is but keep dancing anyway”.

 *in answer to Peggy Lee’s ballad “Is That All There Is?

                Have you come to some conclusion about your beliefs? Are you an unquestioning believer, a seeker, or an abstainer? Or something else? How do you define yourself?

Sunday Musings

Prayers

Prayers (Photo credit: Xerones)

On Sundays I always feel a little bit of nostalgia for my church-going days. To say I have had a crisis of faith may be an overstatement, but many a minister, pastor, priest, rabbi, and faith leader are said to have had crises of faith in order to come to grips with their faith. Unquestioned faith comes from the Sunday School of thought and many of us are past that. In
fact I miss it ~ but maturity brings sober second thought that deepens how one views life and spirituality.

As of late, I have been questioning my faith—yet again. But in questioning it, I think I keep it alive. I have a book called “Create Your Own Personal Sacred Text” by aptly named Bobbie L. Parish.  In the Introduction to the book is this statement, which hit home for me: “….the quest is your own.” And the quest she speaks of is a deeper relationship with Spirit, and the advice given is: “Start where you are and move in whatever direction you feel led.”

I have faith because I want to have faith. It is questioned sometimes. Rattled. Verified. And a constant, even if examined.

Here is an explanation of  prayer that makes sense to me by Pamela Brode from “The Power of Prayer – Make a Joyful Noise”:

“Through prayer we are able to draw power from the Holy Spirit, which fortifies our spiritual being and assists us in coping with whatever situation life hands us with a degree of strength, endurance, and calm.

Through the power of prayer we are motivated to take affirmative steps to help remedy our difficulties. Through prayer we receive protection from behaving irrationally or recklessly and from making decisions that can lead to harmful consequences.

In essence, prayer helps us to take control of our lives. We may not always be in control of what happens in the world around us, but prayer enables us to take control of the way we respond to any given situation—and that is truly empowering. Prayer gives us direction and motivation to take a positive and productive course of action that benefits us as well as those around us.”

You may be like me and question why certain things happen. And wonder why.  Sometimes I cannot determine when to “Let go and let God” because I think God wants us to help ourselves and not just throw our hands up in the air and leave the hard work to him/her.

Does faith give you bliss?