Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Christian Atheist Chapters 2 and 3

     I probably should have started this a little later when all the kids were back in school, but if you are like me and waiting for things to calm down it never happens.  I try to do that, but I end up just putting things off until it is too late or I have forgotten about them.

     Everybody's busy schedules is probably the main reason I didn't have any participation last week, although my post was read by several.  BUT, given the title of Chapter 2, I don't think I will have any this week either!

     Religion is a private subject for a lot of people.  I normally keep mine to myself.  I talk about God and those around me have no question about my beliefs, but I am not someone who goes out and constantly talks about it to others.  There is certainly nothing wrong with that, I should talk more and give my opinion more.  I guess maybe growing up, I saw TV evangelists (I would spend the night with my great-grandmother and she always had a preaching show or soap opera on and we didn't have as many channels then) and I have always related those who are bold and outspoken about their beliefs to being almost fake.  What I am trying to say is I have always worried about being vocal coming out and sounding fake. 

     Chapter 2 is titled, "When You Believe in God but Are Ashamed of Your Past".  Everybody makes mistakes.  Everybody has moments in their past they wish they could change and are terribly ashamed.  I was always a good girl, but had two years of amnesia or aliens took over my body or something, but those two years were spent at the University of Georgia and I would really like to forget parts of them.  I finally came back to my senses and became less of an embarrassment to my family.  I can't completely forget that time because my parents won't let me.  They like to bring it ever so often, always in front of my kids, to remind me how your children can and will do things to make you want to scream.

     I am shameful of those two years, but I had a heck of a good time.  My theory is that we all have a time in our lives that we act like a fool.  Some do it in high school, some wait until they are 30, and some wait and have a mid-life crisis.  I kindly remind my parents that at least I did it at a time when I was supposed to.  That doesn't make them feel any better, but it is the only defense I have.

     We all have things we are ashamed of.  It is hard to believe that God loves us anyway, but we are expected to sin.  He sent Jesus to us to be crucified for our sins.  There is no way we can live our lives without sin.  I was in the delivery room with my sister when she had all five of her kids.  Each time my first thought was how can anybody witness that and not believe in God.  My second thought is looking at each of the babies how they are perfectly innocent.  They, at that moment, and until they can talk, are a clean slate and have no sin. 

     In talking about God's love, the author uses the best example of how he loves all of his children the same. I love my children unconditionally and there isn't anything they can do to make me love them any less.  I know that my parents love me and although they like to remind me of my wild days (they mostly tease me about it), I know there is nothing I could do to make them love me any less.  Isn't God's love more than our love?  God is love.  The whole concept of love and what it means IS God. He gave us the idea love and all that goes with it. I think our God is a forgiving God.  No matter what we do, God is just waiting for us to say we are sorry.  He knows our hearts and he knows how we feel even if we aren't sure.

     I think it is also a waste of time to carry the past with us.  God put each of us here for a reason and I believe he would be more upset with us for not doing what we are meant to do than dwelling on something that can't be changed.  When my kids do something to get into trouble, I don't want them to keep it with them.  We talk about it at the time and then move on.  If they stay stuck on it, they can't move forward and do other things.

     There are a lot of times we may feel unworthy of God's love.  I think it because we are using experiences when we may have done something wrong and been turned away by others.  We are judging our worthiness in God's eyes by the way others have treated us and there is no comparison.  Those who made us feel that way obviously didn't love us unconditionally.  God does.

     I feel like I have rambled long enough.  What do you think? Have you ever wondered or questioned God's love?  What are your thoughts on letting go of the past?

     The only thing I also wanted to say is everybody makes mistakes.  Whatever they may be, I think our biggest mistake is judging how bad our mistakes our compared to others.  That, in my opinion, is where judgment comes in.  We tend to judge others because we want to feel like someone has done something worse than we have.  As if that somehow makes our sin look less sinful in God's eyes.  I really don't think it works that way.

     I hope you will let me know what you all are thinking.  Even if you have an opinion on the book itself.  Or, if you have another way of looking at the subject.  You can comment on here, or if you would like, I have a facebook page also.  I am waiting on the magical 25 "Likes" to get my blue "f" on here, but in the meantime here is the link.  The Sisterhood of Spiritual Single Moms


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