It happened slowly, but I've stopped going to church. It wasn't a conscience decision. I haven't had a fight with God, we've just drifted apart. M and I were at a wedding a few weekends ago and while I should have been paying attention to the homily I started thinking about why I stopped going to mass.
I was not raised by religious parents but I was always taught that everyone deserves respect and dignity. The rest was a personal choice of spirituality. My brother and I were raised in the Unitarian church and were exposed to a variety of beliefs and viewpoints on religion. As I grew older I was able to confidently form a belief system.
When M and I got engaged I decided to become Catholic. It was a life changing experience for me because it was the first time I ever really examined my spiritual beliefs and needs. I don't agree with all that the Church puts forth, at least as far as some of their social policies are concerned. Short of starting my own religion , though, that is never going to happen no matter where I go. I try to focus on the core of the matter: acceptance, love and forgiveness.
Now that I am facing the biggest challenge of my life thus far, I turn to God and I don't know what to say.
Do I ask for a baby?
Do I ask "why me?"
I have never viewed God as a puppetmaster. That kind of thinking always seemed self-defeating to me. Spirituality and faith are supposed to lift you up, not make you feel like a pawn in some cosmic chess game.
Buddhists say that there is worth in the journey itself. I think that this is the best attitude for me right now. I will make the trip and learn what I can along the way. I will forgive myself for the days when I am resentful and full of despair, because I am much harder on myself than God would ever be.
As I looked at the crucifix that hung on the wall behind the bride and groom the sorrowful eyes of Jesus stared back at me. I didn't ask for a miracle or a quick fix. Maybe because I was afraid of what the answer might be. I believe in purpose and I believe that there is a purpose to this. I want to reach out towards my spiritual life again. I want to rekindle the relationship that gave me so much comfort and fulfillment in the past.
Midwesterners like to say, It is what it is. Is it Zen or just practical? Maybe both, but it rings true to me. I just want to learn, to grow, and reconnect with who I am - a soul on a journey with a clear goal, but without a clear destination.
7 years ago