Saturday, May 29, 2010

wrestling with eternal questions...with friends!

Recently, several of my favorite college friends have stumbled upon this blog, and I am so excited. I didn't realize that many other people at my school were interested in thinking about these kind of things, talking about these kind of things. Though we come from all over the country, from all sorts of backgrounds and even different faiths, we're all on some sort of similar spiritual quest, a search for understanding the divine and what that understanding means to us and to our lives.

I knew there were other people out there, but that this blog has been able to forge this connection is a powerful thing. I'm really hoping to get to discuss some of this stuff with them and just bounce our ideas around and hangout and talk. Right now, the internet and phones are serving as means of connecting with each other about this kind of stuff. So, welcome friends!

There's just something amazing about discussing religion with other people who believe. Discussing with non-believers can be thought-provoking, but when you make connections with other people, when you find you have somebody to just sit around and go "What the heck is up with prayer?" or "I don't understand this!," I find I can open up my mind on a whole new level, which sounds a little ridiculous, but it's true.

In other news, I really loved taking my 3 religion related classes this semester. I plunged into the Bible like I've never had an opportunity to before. I find that I've developed new opinions (like that consolidating the Synoptic gospels and claiming they're all part of one story=BS though that's another post for another day!). We had a big debate one day about the academic study of scripture as opposed to the spiritual study, and a bunch of people were claiming that they were mutually exclusive. In my opinion, that's ridiculous. I know I've mentioned this before, but I consider my academic journey a part of my spiritual journey, and I feel like declaring my religion major next year will just be one more step on said journey.

Ugh. The journey metaphor is so painfully cliche. Note to self: think about a new spiritual metaphor.

I'm also really excited about getting involved with the Episcopal student thing at my school. I have a friend who helps run stuff, and I've talked to her about joining in. I think it'll be really great to be connected with a faith community at school.

And again, welcome friends!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

burning bridges

So sometimes people will tell you that the Christian thing to do is be friends with everybody.
But here's the deal. There are some people I'm awfully glad Jesus loves because I sure as hell can't love them. Or even like them. Or maybe I like them, but I like 'em better when they are far away from me.

There's an old joke. A group of people asked a Rabbi, "Rabbi, do you know a proper blessing for the czar?" And the Rabbi said, "May the Lord bless and keep the czar...far away from us."

One year ago today I burned a bridge. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I'll stand by that until the day I die. I wish the people on the other side of the bridge very happy...and very far away from me. This has been the best year of my life. This is what God wants for me, not that pitiful, sniveling existence where I didn't make my own decisions and believed it was okay for people to hurt my feelings because they "loved" me.

You don't have to love those who hurt you. I mean, Romans 12: 14-15 says "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." But that doesn't mean you should let them keep hurting you. God made us to be smart, capable human beings. No one has the right to take that feeling of intelligent capability from anyone else, because it hurts. It hurts to have someone take away your control of a situation so completely that you still have nightmares about it. But that's when you walk away. And God will help. He can help. He's about the only thing that can, I think, besides truly great friends, who are like little pieces of God in my opinion anyways.

But now, things are going right. My friends that I'd abandoned in the chaos of my high school years have forgiven me. As they say "you were in a dark place." And they're just...glad I'm back. It's amazing. And they support me and my burning of bridges. It happens. Life happens. It just makes me very glad for second chances, for friends, for my family, and for having a faith that has been undiminished by so much crap.

Thank you God for helping me grow a spine.
Now to grow some slamming abs this summer to go with my new super hot bikini top...

And also, HELLO LOVELY FRIEND who has started reading this blog!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why Do They Call Events Like This "Acts of God"

As I spend hours each day cleaning out my house from the recent flooding I have lots of time to think about things. I find myself wondering why in times of flooding disasters especially that we call these things "acts of God". I haven't been watching the news but I'm sure the Fred Phelps of the world are claiming, as they did after Katrina, that this is some kind of punishment from God for whatever imagined sins the particular nutjob believes that we have committed. That kind of thinking flies in the face of Genesis where God promised never again to destroy the earth with water. I rather think that localized destruction is probably covered under that promise as well. It seems to me more likely appropriate to call these things "Acts of Nature" rather than "Acts of God". Nature is like the rest of the Earth in that it is far from the perfect state it was created in.

Having watched as water rose and came into my house I've got a new respect for Nature's power. Even knowing we had a second floor to retreat to it was one of the most frightening things I have ever experienced. Yet we've seen tiny miracles throughout. God showing up and assuring me in ways that might only have made sense to me that He is not the author of this chaos and that He is with me as I deal with the aftermath. So do me a favor, don't insult me by calling this an act of God.