For a long time, I believed this. I think it became even more apparent to me once I began taking Christianity seriously during my late teen years as my life and emotions seemed to be crumbling around me. Now that I have gone through a number of various life changes and experienced a bit more, relying on this belief isn’t entirely beyond me. Yet, accepting my existence and path in life as completely in the hands of a higher power has no room in my current form.
To simply rest on my laurels and say things like, “Well God simply didn’t want that for me because there’s something better for me” is relinquishing one’s own free will and responsibility to actively do their part in shaping their future. Some may find comfort in the idea of blaming God for shit not going their way and find peace in that. However, those same people turn and blame God for misfortunate events that were actually out of their control. Why? Because it’s easier to blame a higher power than to simply say “This happened. I have to accept it and move on.”
This convenient double standard of conveniently having a source of blame is what I find most issue about regarding the kinds of Christians I was around for most of my life. That is not to say this is the reason I have gradually become more of an Agnostic than anything. Rather, I acknowledge that Christianity aided me in controlling my emotions – most notably, my anger and sense of abandonment regarding my father – and brought me to a place where I could put myself second to equip me to inspire & help my fellow man. Christianity even helped me recover from the most scarring betrayal of my existence. Though, as may be apparent in my blog entries years back, I became torn between believing in a fluffy, kind God that graced an ordained human with spiritual insight to guide other humans…or having enough faith to believe in my own ordinance of free will to guide and inspire myself and others if given the opportunity.
Things do, in fact, happen for a reason, but telling someone to “just have faith” or “trust God to work it out” is basically telling someone to look the other way and pray something good comes from what little they have or haven’t already done. Anyone can have faith, but having faith does not require a god or a religion. As I’ve admitted to my mother more than once, I now see Christianity as a moral compass for those who can recognize good from evil for themselves, but choose to rely on scripture written by the hands of man bestowed upon them by a being beyond their own understanding for wisdom.
Personally, I have no qualms with anyone who truly needs wisdom in this way, but I now trust in my own heart and knowledge. There are enough matters in this world to fear. A million ways to die that are out of our control. Submitting to being a follower of organized believers, fearing for my soul because of what a heavily edited tale of [oftentimes dated] life lessons is not how I wish to live out my atom-sized existence in this expansive universe.
To believe I can shape my legacy, influence my path, and learn from the negatives has freed me to live in a greater, more spiritual sense of valuing my own existence above all. Acknowledging the power I wield to influence all I can and to let go of that which I cannot. Life is too short to simply discard what doesn’t align with the rules of religion. I have more interest to amass knowledge about the different ways people believe than to ascribe to a singular belief system.
Perhaps I’ll share about how my artist friend of over ten years observed about how time has changed me. That, without a doubt, happened for a reason.