Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Christian Atheist Chapters 8 and 9

     Last week I said forgiving was the hardest chapter for me.  And it still is.  I have a hard time forgiving those who have purposely hurt others.  But, then there's worry.  I have said several times throughout blogging that I am a worrier by nature.  I can't help it.  I have a strong faith in God, but for some reason I feel like so much depends on me and what I do.  I think it comes to us because we measure our success in everything we do by how responsible we are.  If we are responsible and do good things, get up and go to work everyday, take care of our kids, teach them right from wrong, then we are successful.  Because we have to be responsible for our actions, we feel like we are supposed to be in control of everything.

     I feel like the story about the frog and the scorpion.  You know the scorpion asks the frog to take him across the river, but the frog doesn't want to because he knows he will sting him.  After convincing him he won't, the frog takes him only for the scorpion to sting him before reaching the other side.  When the frog asks why the scorpion says it is in his nature.  That's how I feel.  Some people are more laid back and don't let things get to them, others feel stress about a lot of things.  That's how I am.  I am just naturally a worrier.  My grandmother, Betty, was a sweet, spiritual lady.  She had a strong faith, but she worried a lot.  I think I take that after her.  It would even drive her crazy if I stood up and ate.  She would "worry" it would give me a stomach ache and she would get me to sit down.  Just anything she didn't want to see her loved ones go through she worried about.  I think she felt responsible for everyone around her and wanted to take care of everyone.  My dad is a worrier too.  He also has a very strong faith, but I think we learn behaviors and we just can't help it sometimes.

     So, so many people are overly worried right now.  The economy is in such bad shape and people that were good providers for their family are having a hard time providing basic necessities.  It is hard to sit back and wait for God to answer prayers.  I feel like when I worry I am telling God I don't trust him.  Then, I feel bad.  I know I have to trust God's plan, but I think I have a hard time knowing when I am just supposed to leave it up to Him and when I am supposed to use the common sense he gave me.  I really do believe that God is with us all the time and whatever happens, He has a reason and one day we will know why things happened.  I am 100% financially responsible for my kids.  I know my family is there to help me, but they are my responsibility.  I know God knows what we have been through and He will help me with them, but at the same time, I feel like I need to do something to help the situation.  Am I letting my kids and myself down if I just sit at home waiting on something to happen?  I believe He is completely in charge, but I feel irresponsible just sitting and waiting. 

     I have been so nervous and very worried about Sydney out driving by herself.  One day it hit me and I told her, it doesn't matter if I am in the car with you or not because God always is.  Once I realized that and said it out loud I felt a sense of peace and I still worry about her, but it is different now.  I know if I give up all my worry and fears to God I will feel at peace and I want to.  Reading this chapter I have thought to myself that I can't change what is supposed to happen and I have realized that whatever does happen it isn't a reflection of my being responsible or not.  I think if I can make myself understand that, it will be easier to just give all my worries to Him. 

     I really like how the author says in Chapter 9, "If we believe that God wants us to be happy above all else, rather than acknowledging that our role is to serve God, we wrongly believe that God exists to serve us."

     My grandfather, Tom Ed, had a saying that makes a lot of sense.  If anyone was talking about something they were worried about or that happened and they were upset, he always said, "In a hundred years no one will know the difference."  It amazes me at how true that is.  We focus on so many things right here, right now, that won't matter when we are gone.  While I am quoting the men in my family, my dad's belief is that this life is just a blink of an eye.  He believes this whole life is preparing us (and testing us) for our next and eternal life with God.  I think he is right.  It is so hard sometimes because I get angry about things, worry  and stress over things I have no control over and what I really need to be concentrating on is just serving God and living this life the way I am supposed to to get to my next life with God.  It doesn't even take 100 years, sometimes just a week, for something I am worried about today to not even matter next week.  When I have that sense of peace, it does make me happier than anything else can.  This life is so hard and it is hard when you believe in God and have faith in Him, I honestly don't know how people make it that don't believe in Him.  No matter how they appear on the surface, they can not be happy people at all.

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